Health Care Needs Solutions, Not Privatization

Charlottetown, PEI – This week, the four conservative Atlantic Premiers, along with Ontario’s Premier Ford, announced their idea of bringing in privatization in healthcare, instead of dealing with the recruitment and retention crisis.

Premier King floated the idea of publicly funded but privately operated health care services. The PEI Health Council, which represents over a thousand healthcare workers on the Island, along with CUPE PEI, are calling on Premier King to retract his statements and rule out privatization.

“One of the Government’s fundamental jobs is delivering good public services for all. Handing over this responsibility to corporations means he does not want to do meet his basic job requirements as Premier” said Chris Lewis, President of PEI Health Council.

“Privatization will not solve staffing issues. It simply drains workers from the public sector to the private sector, moving people around instead of bringing more people in it. It is robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Leonard Gallant, President of CUPE PEI.

“In the U.S., where healthcare is completely privatized, they have massive staff shortages, so let’s not fall into that trap,” said Gallant. Earlier this year, the American Hospital Association called the workforce shortage in U.S. hospitals a “national emergency,” In July 2022, U.S. News reported that staff shortages were “choking the U.S. health care system”.

“This government must focus on public solutions, like removing barriers to entry in the workforce, cut tuition fees, stop the casualization of the work and improve working conditions of all to retain staff,” concluded Lewis.