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LETTER: Health of Ontarians 'not a commodity'

'It is insulting to try and pretend privatization is anything more than another cash grab for millionaires,' says letter writer
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Ontario is going through a health-care crisis with soaring wait times and a severe lack of staff, just off the heels of a major pandemic.

Wait times in emergency rooms are dangerously long and critical surgeries have been postponed, and this is intentional.

Even during the height of the pandemic in 2021, Ontario nurses were forced to endure mandatory pay cuts as the cost of living soared. Ford is sitting on a $2-billion budget surplus and spending $10 billion to destroy the Greenbelt for a highway that even his own experts agree has no real benefits. A 30-second-shorter commute time is not worth more than our nurses and health-care professionals.

Now Ford’s motives are clear: create the problem by refusing to fund our health care, decry the crisis he personally created, and offer to “solve” it by giving money to his friends and taking more from our hospitals.

Ontario tax dollars should go to the people of Ontario, not Ford’s cronies. There is plenty of money to give our nurses the bonuses they sorely deserve after the last few years and expand the hospitals and health clinics Ontarians already use.

Private health clinics routinely overcharge and “upsell” patients on unnecessary medical procedures; our health is not a commodity to be bought and sold. This crisis never needed to happen, and could be solved by summer if not for Ford’s rich friends leeching off the taxpayer’s dime.

Canada already made a decision about private health care: It sucks, and during an affordable housing crisis it is insulting to try and pretend privatization is anything more than another cash grab for millionaires.

We need free pharmacare and improved access to health care, not inflated private clinic bills.

Alex Nicholls