Ontario Financing the Export of Healthcare
The Ontario Ministry of Health released figures showing that more and more Ontarians are travelling to the United States for medical care. In the past half decade Ontario's out of country medical spending has trippled. In 2005 there were 5,800 applicants and last year there was over 12,000. The Ontario Minisrty of Health approval has increased five times since 2001 to handle all of the demand. The province agreed to finance 3,110 procedures or treatments in 2001, compared to 11,775 last year.
The figures are expected to continue to rise in the coming years.
Some political parties have support this increase while others would rather promote domestic heath care services.
Some conflicting views on the matter:
Patients are losing
The figures drew heat from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath during morning question period at Queen's Park.
"Patients are losing access to local care as the McGuinty government shells out more money to private American providers," Horwath said.
"Rather than sending more and more Ontarians out of country for medical basics, like MRIs and CT scans, why isn't this government investing more money to improve services for a greater number of Ontarians right here at home."
Horwath said that the money should be used to fund those services at Ontario facilities, which are facing cutbacks that are forcing emergency rooms to close and nurses to be laid off.