CKMS 102.7 FM Radio Waterloo | Community Connections | Monday 11am-Noon, Friday 3pm-4pm (sunflower logo on the left, black and purple lettering on a teal background to the right and below)

CKMS Community Connections for 14 March 2022 with Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of WRHC

Show Notes

Screencap of a web conference with Barbara Schumacher (top) and Jim Stewart (bottom)
Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of WRHC

Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition join Bob Jonkman on a web conference to talk about the Ontario government’s creeping advances to privatized health care, the diminishing level of health care in Ontario compared to other provinces, ideas to improve public health care, the effects of having private hospitals, and an announcement of the upcoming Waterloo Region Health care Privatization Summit.

We had some technical difficulties during the live broadcast, but the podcast cleaned up nicely, although the web conference created some dropout in the audio at some points.

The interview starts at 5m08s.


Ontario Health Coalition | Protecting public healthcare for all

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Previous shows with WRHC


Download: ckms-community-connections-2022-03-14-episode093.mp3 (38.9 MB, 40m27s, episode 093)


Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc and show introduction by Bob Jonkman CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
1m07s Boy Beast & Fish | The Day Is Gone (two boys in silhouette playing on a grassy field)
The Day Is Gone
Beast & Fish
5m08s Introductions: Barbara Schumacher is a retired physician and the former Medical Director of the University of Waterloo Health Service; Jim Stewart is the chair of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition. WRHC is a chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition, a non-partisan public watchdog for health care. Provincial legislation is introducing privatization of health care by stealth; result of insufficient funding for the health care system. Canadian Doctors for Medicare has done studies of the administration of private health care: Canadian public health has half the administrative cost of private health care.
13m37s Ontario is dead last among the provinces in funding public health care: fewest hospital beds, fewest nurses, and funding hospitals at the lowest rate of any province. We need to look for ways to invest in public health, not take funds out and drive them into profit-driven “Independent Health Facilities”. Federal health care transfer payments have dropped from 50% to 20%. There is a massive reduction in provincial health care spending. Federal government transfer payments are intended to administer a provincial health care system, not deliver health care. In 2019 the Ontario People’s Health Care Act created a super agency with powers to restructure the public health care system, now there is a patchwork across the province, different in Waterloo Region from Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Sudbury.
17m14s How to make things better? Focus on public health care, we paid for this over decades, why throw it out? Comparing England, where NHS privatized, but the private company went bankrupt and left. How sustainable are private companies for delivering health care. But Scotland’s NHS rejected privatization and focused on public infrastructure and create a strategy for sustainability for the NHS in Scotland. As a result, Scotland is a world leader in reducing wait times, reduction of hospital acquired infections, and reducing re-admission rates. They used four strategies: 1) Redesign and transform capacity on population-based requirements; 2) Information (linked electronic health records); 3) Planning strategy, including continuous quality improvement; 4) Peformance Management Strategy, holding regional health units accountable when they don’t reach targets. Canadian Doctors for Medicare has a lot of studies on how our Canadian health care system can be reformed. Private health care is not the only alternative. Private clinics primarily focus on profit, that’s what they’re designed to do.
25m00s On 1 February 2022 the Ontario Health Minister, Christine Elliot, gave a press conference where she said “Let independent health facilities create private hospitals.” This is an alarming announcement, it speaks to the complete coring out of our public hospitals, having them recall diagnostic and surgical services, to be reconstituted in private clinics. In private hospitals the simple procedures and uncomplicated patients get drawn in the private system, then the public hospitals are left with the more expensive cases requiring more intense professional care, so public hospitals have expenses that far exceed those of private hospitals. Private hospitals also pull professional expertise out of the public system, but since there will be no additional doctors it leaves public hospitals with fewer resources. Private hospitals only benefit people who can afford it; poor people will go to underfunded, understaffed public hospitals. Public hospitals have a flat-fee system to compensate doctors; all neurologists or all obstetricians are paid the same. In a private system there can be a differential fee scale according to expertise. The public system doesn’t reinforce holding on to quality, we see physicians with specialized skills move to the US, draining the public care system. But some Canadian physicians find the private system in the US burdensome (health insurance costs, tracking down overdue payments, take orders from health insurance corporations) so their ability to deliver high-quality health care is diminished significantly, and they return to Canada.
30m33s WRHC is trying to warn the Region of Waterloo what is happening with privatization. They are holding an emergency summit on Tuesday, 5 April 2022, at 7:00pm register with Zoom. Speakers include Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. Find out what’s happening so people can make a decision a the voting booth in June.
31m48s Discussing the politics of health care. WRHC is non-partisan, but there’s no need to have a political affiliation, almost all parties support the public health care system. It’s not a political position, it’s a social position. Discussing the scope of health care delivery: Eye care, hearing care, dental care, pharmacare, and mental health care. “Health care above the neck.” Pharmacare on a large scale gets better competitive pricing, but the strong Pharma lobby is holding us back.
36m16s Jim Stewart gives the WRHC contact info and Bob gives the credits as Extended Heatwarning plays out to the end of the podcast. Ponysapien (clouds over water, coloured with a spectrum of colours)

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs on Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

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Bonus Footage

CKMS Community connections for 14 March 2022 with Barbara Schumacher and Jim Stewart of WRHC

YouTube: CKMS Community Connections for 14 March 2022

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2022 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

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