“This is a case where the wheels are literally falling off the bus.” – Andre Marin, Toronto Star, July 16, 2013
Back in June 2011 the Ontario government promised legislation “at the earliest opportunity” to regulate the private patient transfer industry.
The first real promise of that election campaign, Health Minister Deb Matthews was prompt in her reaction to a scathing report by the Ontario Ombudsman that suggested taking a taxi was far safer than climbing aboard one of the province’s privatized patient transfer vehicles.
We’ve all seen these vehicles. They look like ambulances. Some have emergency lights just like real ambulances. The drivers often dress like paramedics. But that doesn’t mean they are.
The decision by Premier Dalton McGuinty to step down and shut down the provincial parliament leaves many questions about the future of Ontario’s health care.
With no parliament, there will be no review of the Local Health Integration Networks, a commitment that the McGuinty government wrote into the original Act that created the Crown agencies.
When the government wrote the Local Health System Integration Act in 2006, somebody forgot to calculate that a five year mandated review would take place just prior to a fixed date election. Whoops! McGuinty did suggest that such a review might not be necessary at all until someone reminded him that it was written into the legislation.
There was no way the government was going to undertake a review of the unpopular LHINs just prior to going to the polls. In recent months we had heard that such a review was finally going to go to committee. Now that won’t happen. That means it could be seven years before the five-year review happens.