Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Heathcare... What's Happening in Saskatchewan?

The government is shifting healthcare services like surgeries into private hands 

Check out the SFL's new Labour Issues Booklet on Healthcare in Saskatchewan.

The government is contracting out surgeries to private, for-profit clinics like the Omni Surgery Centre in Regina.

Health Minister McMorris says the government is paying Omni about $1,500 per surgery performed at the clinic — he also claims it costs $1,700 for that same surgery to be performed in our hospitals.  The fact is that it costs $997 for day surgery in our hospitals, not $1,700. (Interprovincial Out-Patient Rates, April 1, 2010, Ontario Health Ministry).

Some people raise concerns that public healthcare is too expensive to administrate; however, contracting out surgeries to private clinics is going to add another whole layer of administrative responsibilities to the health regions. For example, health authorities have to assess who will be chosen as third-party deliverers, negotiate and manage contracts with those companies, and oversee budgets. (Third-Party Delivery Framework: Outpatient Surgery and Specialized Diagnostic Imaging, Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, June 2010)

In CUPE’s legal challenge against contracting out surgeries and diagnostics in Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, Arbitrator Dan Ish ruled that, “Even if additional capital expenditures have to be made in the long term there is little doubt that the internal costs of carrying out both surgical and CT procedures would be less than the costs associated with the provision of those services by a third party if the costs are similar.” Arbitrator Dan Ish, September 29, 2010

Read more from the new SFL Healthcare booklet here.....

Private for-profit clinics

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