Ontario tables health reform bill to expand private clinic procedures

By Allison Jones and Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Ontario’s health minister has tabled a bill that would allow the province to expand private clinics in the public health-care system.

Sylvia Jones announced last month that the legislation was coming, and since then opposition parties and some health-care advocates have been critical about the role of for-profit clinics.

Jones says patients at the clinics, including new facilities that will perform hip and knee surgeries, will not have to pay out of pocket, rather the procedures will continue to be publicly funded.

Jones says the legislation will enable the province to designate “expert organizations” to inspect the clinics, but the province hasn’t yet decided who those organizations will be.

The government says it is “exploring several options” for that, including the current regulatory colleges.

Clinics would be required to provide details of infection prevention and control policies, as well as a staffing plan “to protect the stability of doctors, nurses and other health-care workers at public hospitals.”

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