The Ford government in Ontario spent its first year slashing. Here’s who got burned
2019-06-13 from thestar.com
In the year since it came to power, Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has made a sweeping array of funding cuts to Ontario services, programs, non-governmental organizations and projects in an effort to eliminate an $11.7-billion deficit.
The most notable cuts in Healthcare
Public health overhaul: In April, the province said a new health superagency called Ontario Health would save $350 million a year when it is up and running. The move consolidated six agencies — including Cancer Care Ontario — and 14 local health integration networks under Ontario Health in an effort to trim bureaucratic and administrative costs.
Public health units: The budget included plans to amalgamate local public health units into regional bodies, merging 35 units into 10. The government said consolidating the units, which offer healthy living programs and work on disease prevention, would reduce local duplication and streamline administrative functions and was expected to trim $200 million in annual spending by 2021-22.
Prescription drug coverage: The day after the provincial government was sworn in, it announced that people with private health plans would no longer qualify for free prescriptions through the OHIP+ program. The program, enacted under the previous Liberal government, covers the cost of 4,400-plus drugs included in the Ontario Drug Benefit Program for those under age 25. The move is expected to cut $250 million in spending.
Out-of-country OHIP: In April, the government said it would cut out-of-country OHIP coverage, meaning Ontarians will have to rely upon their private insurance while abroad. The move is expected to save $9 million a year.
Youth anti-smoking initiative: In May, the government said it was extinguishing its support for a 19-year-old program called Leave the Pack Behind, which encouraged young adults to quit smoking. The program received about $1 million from the health ministry.
College of Midwives: In December, the organization that regulates midwives in Ontario announced that the government had retroactively cancelled all of its funding to the college — $750,553 — for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Telemedicine network: Forty-four employees were laid off because of budget cuts to the Ontario Telemedicine Network, one-sixth of the agency’s workforce. The network had received $42 million in provincial funding in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.
Read the article for other sector cuts here