Lise Vaugeois MPP, Thunder Bay–Superior North

Government of Ontario

Stiles goes to bat for uninsured Ontarians, calls on Ford to restore health care access immediately

Published on April 3, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, rose in legislature this morning to demand the Ford government reverse their cruel health care cuts to uninsured Ontarians.

On Saturday, the government eliminated the Physician and Hospital Services for Uninsured Persons program. For migrant workers, refugees fleeing persecution, and newcomers to Ontario, that means access to publicly funded health care just got further out of reach.

“This program helped us recognize and resolve an important gap in OHIP coverage,” said Stiles. “Under this program, migrant workers, refugees, and many others could finally access health care without worrying how they’d pay for it. This government callously terminated the program this weekend. It’s unconscionable that this government would reject a positive, evidence-based solution that makes health care more accessible for people across the province.”

Physician and Hospital Services for Uninsured Persons cost the government an average of just $5 million a year but helped 400,000 Ontarians over the course of the program. That’s less than $38/person or just 0.01% of the overall health care budget.

“Health care is a human right,” said Stiles. “That shouldn’t be a controversial thing to say, but Ford’s Conservatives are increasingly out of touch with the lived experience of Ontarians. The Ontario NDP and I will keep on pushing back against this decision until everyone has access to free and safe public health care in Ontario.”