Story from: CTV News, Sep. 23 2007
"Ontario's Deputy Premier George Smitherman stands beside a poster criticizing John Tory. The poster reads 'didn't think it through'. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Deputy Premier George Smitherman says a Progressive Conservative proposal to fund procedures in private health clinics is "retro.''
Smitherman, also the Liberal minister of health, appeared at a Toronto antique market this morning for the last-minute announcement.
He says Conservative Leader John Tory's plan to allow private clinics to deliver publicly funded medicare services is a step back to "darker ages.''
Public health advocacy groups were quick to respond to Tory's proposal last week, saying the Conservative plan could ultimately destroy medicare.
Tory says he wants to get people off the waiting lists and out of pain.
But Smitherman says people in Ontario reject the idea of building services in a for-profit environment."
Rather than negatively dismiss John Tory’s health proposal as “retro”, it is time for Liberal Health Minister George Smitherman to finally admit that his own healthcare monopoly is sicko. Smitherman well knows that Tory’s publicly-paid, privately-run plan is a sensible course to help patients get off waiting lists and out of pain. "Public health advocacy groups" (who were unnamed in the story, and who didn't have much to say about patients), fearmongered that this "could ultimately destroy medicare", as if it hasn't self-destructed already under Smitherman! Please! If getting suffering patients off medicare's waiting lists "destroys medicare", so flicking what?
Here’s what the St. Catharines Standard wrote on Aug.11, 2005:
“Smitherman has been also publicly signaling that his government is prepared to allow Ontarians to “augment” their care, cautiously suggesting that should not be threatening, and the province can’t “do it all”. "A lot of people say ‘well, we’re against privatization’", Smitherman said. “But there’s already quite a bit of for-profit delivery within the context of a publicly funded, universally accessible healthcare system. We have a 1,000 independent health facilities in Ontario that already deliver services and are largely doctor owned and operated."
Apparently Smitherman could afford to be candid and portray himself as pro-active back then – the election was over two years away! But like a typical Liberal, he’s now re-hashing his tired old anti-profit rhetoric.
Premier Dalton McGuinty said on the Sept.20, 2007 televised leaders’ debate that Ontario now spends half of its budget on healthcare – yet his Liberals have developed a disturbing new export market: outsourcing Ontario patients to the States for treatment because Smitherman’s health-scare system can’t provide timely healthcare at home.
We even saw Smitherman - Mr. Medicare - falling over himself rushing to the border to prevent American technology services (Lifeline clinic of Cleveland) from entering the province! It was Smitherman's Liberal government that created an entirely new and questionable health-tax - while also cutting coverage! Remember when Smitherman famously referred to Ontario optometrists as terrorists? Smitherman has demonstrated an obvious deference to ideology over patient health – a scary attribute indeed for a health minister whose government's own Ombudsman, Andre Marin, called Liberal-run health care a “cruel game”.