Randall Denley: The pandemic is a chance to finally fix Ontario's health system — if we have the guts

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Provinces continue to deny the private option on the moral grounds that denying timely health care is justifiable, so long as it’s denied to all equally

This is occurring at the same time that many young orthopedic surgeons can’t find work, after 13 years of publicly subsidized education. In 2018, the Canadian Orthopedic Association projected that Canada would generate only 175 jobs for orthopedic surgeons over five years, but adequate care would require 287 jobs. The problem is certainly not a lack of doctors, with 436 graduating over the same period.

The fundamental problem is simple enough. Successive Ontario governments have been unwilling to spend enough to provide the operating rooms, nurses and anesthetists required for surgeons to do their jobs. We believe it perfectly normal to tell patients who want service and doctors who want to provide it that such a transaction is illegal. For young specialists hoping to work in Ontario, the only choice is to work in the public health-care system. If the government doesn’t want to provide enough money to hire them, those doctors can always go to the U.S., or maybe drive an Uber .

 

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