Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will ensure provinces follow the Canada Health Act, as an Ontario health-care transformation is raising fears of further privatization.
The provincial Progressive Conservative government is set to unveil sweeping changes to the health system later this month, and the NDP says leaked documents point to a greater role for the private sector.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott has made assurances that the new system will not include two-tier care, paying for more services out of pocket, or paying to jump a queue.
The Canada Health Act prevents private billing for medically necessary health services.
Elliott has not ruled out further private delivery of care, which is already part of the public system in Ontario.
When asked Thursday about Ontario’s health plans, Trudeau said the federal government will always stand up for its responsibilities to defend the Canada Health Act and ensure universal access to a strong health-care system.
“We have acted in the past when provinces have not aligned themselves with the Canada Health Act and we will ensure that every province follows the requirements of the Canada Health Act,” he said.