Doug Ford Pitches Private Surgeries Offered By His Donors As Solution to Ontario’s Health Care Crisis

Ford touts private eye surgeries like one lobbied for by a top Ontario PC donor in healthcare announcement

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says Ontario residents need to have private health services like the ones his political donors are lobbying his government for in order to “take the burden off” the public health care system.

Speaking to reporters at his first press conference of 2023, Ford doubled-down on his plan to move OHIP-funded procedures out of public hospitals and into private Independent Health Facilities, non-hospital sites that perform medically-necessary operations – 97% of which are for-profit facilities.

“People don’t care where they have to go as long as it has the same regulations, same top-notch doctors,” Ford said, explaining his rationale for expanding for-profit health services.

Asked if he wanted “greater private sector involvement,” in Ontario’s healthcare system, Ford clarified only that he does not “like the word ‘private.”

In addition to lifting the cap on the number of IHFs that can operate in Ontario, Ford also used the photo-op as an opportunity to highlight the government’s plans to privatize “simple” medical operations.

Ford said Ontario residents can now “knock off simple stuff” that is “not complicated,” singling out “knee replacement, hip replacement, cataracts” as a few examples.

“These are no-brainers that are backlogging the healthcare system,” Ford said.

As PressProgress previously reported, one of the top private surgery clinics that lobbied the Ford government to expand private Cataract surgeries, Herzig Eye Institute, also has cozy ties to Doug Ford’s Ontario PCs.

According to Elections Ontario records, Sheldon Herzig’s name is linked to multiple personal donations, including a $250 to the Ontario PCs in 2020, $1,083 in 2019, $200 in 2015 and $399 in 2014.

Cheryl Tabb, one of Herzig’s directors, is listed donating $1,083 to the party in 2019. In 2021 and 2022, Herzig donated $1,850 to the party.

Ford, Herzig and Tabb were listed as “VIP guests” for a special performance of Billy Elliot the Musical, part of a 2011 Toronto fundraising gala for Canada’s National Ballet School.

The Herzig Eye Institute did not respond to requests for comment.


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Mitchell Thompson
Ontario Reporter
Mitchell Thompson is PressProgress’ Ontario reporter. His reporting has a special focus on workers and communities, and public services and privatization, and public accountability.

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