These Doctors Are Not Voting for Ford
Doug Ford seems to think he can count on the vote of the province’s physicians. He cannot count on the votes of the undersigned. Many physicians are rightly upset with the Liberals after years of failed contract negotiations and unilateral fee cuts. However there are many physicians who will not be voting for Mr. Ford and the PC Party of Ontario in this upcoming election. There are significant concerns about his inability to be a good steward of the health care system in Ontario.
Mr. Ford and the PC Party of Ontario have finally released a platform, though it is not fully costed. It consists of three general commitments to improve health care, which involve funding more mental health and addiction care, reducing wait times by opening more beds, and funding dental care for low income seniors. There are no details provided about how these goals will be achieved, though Mr. Ford has promised fewer taxes with money saved through vague “efficiencies.”
We are left looking for clues for how Mr. Ford might govern in multiple one line statements. To entice physicians to practice in remote areas, Mr. Ford mentioned at one debate he would build a new clinic space if he had to in order to get physicians to move there. There has been no analysis we are aware of that lack of clinic space has been the defining factor in delivery of rural health care. This is an example of a brief talking point, with no detail that displays a worrisome lack of understanding of the complex health care system. Worse, Mr. Ford in the final debate has practically admitted that he has not yet consulted those that work in the health care system on what he might do to make changes. His positions have not been further elaborated in the over two months since he became party leader. Without this necessary information, it is difficult to criticize Mr. Ford in much detail, except for the glaring lack thereof coming from him.
He promises to listen to physicians, and so physicians have communicated with him. Notably the PCs have “formally declined” a request to provide more information on their health care plans for the province to the Ontario College of Family Physicians.
Mr. Ford has presented himself as poorly informed given the great responsibility with which he and his party wish the province’s electorate to grant them. The Premier of the Province of Ontario requires a greater depth of understanding than Mr. Ford has displayed. This level of understanding needs to be now, not later. He is leader of a party that has a record of making devastating cuts to the health care system in Ontario. We will not be voting for Mr. Ford in order to give them the power to devastate the health care system yet again. The health of our province is worth more than this.