November 28, 2022
$290 For a Child to Gain Access to a Physician is Wrong!
During question period MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) asked the Minister of Health her rational for letting private enterprises charge high fees to people in order to gain access to physician’s phone consultations as emergency rooms are backlogged and overwhelmed?
“On November 21st, the government sent a letter directing Primary Care Organizations to offer clinical services 7 days a week, including evenings due to “high-volume pressures across our health system”. But starting this Thursday people with sick children will have to pay. Here is what Gail Kirk had to say: “I guess my Christmas presents to my 4-year-old granddaughter and my 4-month-old grandson will be a $290 annual subscription to KixCare. Gramma who lives on CPP and OAS will have to do the government’s job of ensuring access to health care. If this is your idea of improving access, then get out of politics.” What would the minister like to say to Mrs. Gail Kirk?”
Last week CBC Toronto reported a virtual pediatric clinic which had previously provided services without charge was changing their business model to a subscription-based service.
“Mrs. Gail Kirk is not the only one worried about the change coming on December 1st. Sara from Nickel Belt lives with a disability she wrote to me concerned with these changes. She writes “my kids are away at school, my parents are elderly and live in a rural area with no wifi; I can’t emphasize enough how much we depended on phone GP appointments. I’m really concerned my very ill parents will contract COVID at their doctor’s office, and that seems unnecessary and ludicrous.”
Speaker, is decreasing access to telephone consultations during a time of “urgent system pressures” ludicrous, or is it another proof that the Minister is trying to push patients to private services where they pay out of pocket to gain access to the care they need?”
On November 28, the Ford government voted down a bill sponsored by MPP Gélinas which would have increased oversight of clinics who charge unfair fees for access to healthcare services.