Ontario’s monopoly on health insurance and school education is unsustainable, a provincial government report has found.
In a report released Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care called the system a “monopoly of profit” and a “closed, unaccountable, and opaque system that is undermining the health and quality of care for Ontarians.”
The report is the latest evidence to suggest that Ontario’s health care system is underfunded and underfunded by about $400 million a year.
The report says it is “not unreasonable” to think that the provincial government will have to “pay for the cost of the system,” which it estimates could cost $1.3 billion.
“We’re in a world where the only way to get the resources you need is to make investments in health care and in education,” Health Minister Deb Matthews said in a statement.
“The province’s budget is balanced and we have a surplus of $1 billion a year.”
She said that money will be invested in the health system, including a new $1-billion capital campaign, and added that the province will work with the private sector to make sure Ontario’s hospitals are funded.
“Ontario has the best system of healthcare and education in Canada, and I look forward to working with all parties to deliver on that promise,” Matthews said.
“With this report, we have demonstrated our commitment to investing in Ontario’s healthcare system.”
In a statement, Matthews said that she has instructed Health Minister Eric Hoskins to “immediately begin the implementation of a new, transparent and accountable process for all health care funding.”
“This is the next step to ensuring Ontarians have the health care services they need when they need them most,” she said.
Ontario’s health-care system is a government monopoly with the sole power to pay for health care in the province.
The province has a system of government-run hospitals that are funded entirely through private insurance.
Ontarians pay an average of $2,700 per year to subsidize the cost for health-related services in Ontario, and about 40 per cent of that goes to private insurance, according to the provincial health authority.
The report said the Ontario system is in “serious financial and economic jeopardy,” with the health-and-social-services system now being “in crisis” with fewer resources available to meet the needs of Ontario’s growing population and growing population of seniors.
The province estimates the costs of running the Ontario health system are $1,500 per year per person.
The government has proposed to raise taxes to fund the health services system by 25 per cent in the next fiscal year.
“It is clear to us that the current system cannot provide the level of care and support that Ontarians want, and this report makes it clear that the system needs to be replaced,” Matthews told reporters.
“Health care is not just a social responsibility, it is a fundamental human right.
It is also the only healthcare system in Canada that offers the full range of treatments, from primary care to end-of-life care.”
As we move forward, we will ensure that the care we offer to Ontarians is of the highest quality and quality is provided at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers,” Matthews added.
The ministry’s report is an update to the previous report that was released last year, which found that the Ontario government was spending $1 million a day to provide health care to more than 100,000 people.