Ontario defends ending funding for uninsured health care

Ontario’s health minister has said the province will not reverse its decision to end medical services funded by the uninsured.

Speaking to Congress on Monday morning, Sylvia Jones argued that the changes to be made as of March 31 will not affect the health of those who do not have an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). bottom. In turn, it will affect whether medical facilities can charge for services provided to those patients.

“There is no change to how uninsured people get care in Ontario,” she said.

“The only change is how hospitals, community health centers and midwifery centers are reimbursed for insuring and providing that care.”

A memo sent by the Doug Ford government to Ontario hospitals and health care providers late last week read: State existing framework Funding for uninsured patient care, which began in March 2020, will end in April.

The program made it possible for anyone with or without a health card to access “medically necessary doctor and hospital services.”

Starting April 1, hospitals and doctors will no longer be able to bill the state for uninsured care.

“What this means is that if you don’t have a health card, you are much less likely to receive preventive and primary care because you cannot develop an ongoing relationship with your primary care practitioner,” says Toronto. ICU Dr. Michael said. Warner told CTV News he’s Toronto on Saturday.

“In addition to doctors treating the marginalized, it is the marginalized who suffer the most. They are just working for free, and it is not fair.”

Uninsured patients include, but are not limited to, individuals who are unable to obtain health insurance cards for various reasons, migrant workers between contracts, or people who are ineligible for residency. Homeless residents often have more difficulty obtaining health cards due to the lack of identification and permanent residence.

According to the government, these individuals can be treated in hospitals through 75 community health centers across Ontario and emergency departments. A list of these health centers can be found at government website.

The program was not about committing to equity

In defending the cancellation of the program, the ministry reiterated it was started during the state’s lockdown. stressed on Monday.

“This program was introduced when individuals were no longer able to travel in Ontario,” Jones said.

“The order introduced a financing model to ensure that individuals in Ontario have the medical coverage they need.”

While this may have been the case, experts say it has also benefited others experiencing barriers to obtaining health cards, whether eligible or not. Physicians and advocates hailed the move as addressing an important equity issue when it comes to access to healthcare in Ontario.

“When funding became available in 2020, it was a game changer,” Dr. Andrew Boozary of the University Health Network told CTV News Toronto.

“Removing stigma and barriers to access to care has been a very important part. [of] What we were trying to do to improve the health of marginalized communities.

Speaking to CTV News Toronto on Monday, Warner added that hospitals are using the program at a higher rate than in its first year. He also noted that travel restrictions were long gone. In other words, individuals staying in the state as a result of lockdowns weren’t the demographic that truly benefited the most from funding.

“Have we learned nothing from the pandemic?” asked Warner. “The government has made very good decisions that have actually helped people, and instead of scrapping them on March 31st, in their view that the pandemic is over, they really appreciate the programs and We need to see how effective it has been and improve it, rather than cancel it, we will do it.”

An open letter signed by more than 1,100 health care workers and community and advocacy groups also called on the state to reverse its decision and permanently fund uninsured patient care.

“The government has made the right decision to ensure that everyone living in Ontario has access to essential care,” the letter said, adding that nearly half a million people will have public health insurance by March 2020. I added that I hadn’t.

“It is unacceptable to deny someone care and expose them to serious illness or death.”

A related online petition launched on Monday, just days after the government announced the end of the program, had nearly 400 signatures.

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