The second wave of health care restructuring: “The fast and the furious”

Authors: Mark Rosenberg*, Queen's University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Canada
Keywords: health geography, restructuring, regionalization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Director's Row J, Sheraton, Plaza Building, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

At the end of the 1980s, provincial governments across Canada faced with “soaring health care costs” and emboldened by neo-liberal ideology launched the first wave of health care restructuring. Of the many strategies launched during this period, the decentralization of decision-making through the creation of regional health authorities was a favored approach. The rhetoric around soaring health care costs has slowly taken back seat to the rhetoric of wait times, “bed blockers’ and “hallway” medicine as the 21st century has progressed. In June 2018, Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario won a landslide victory promising to fix Ontario’s health care system with what can only be described as a “fast and furious” assault on those aspects of the health care system that they blamed for what ails the health care system. The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence and actions of the Doug Ford government and assess whether the policies are likely to lead to improved health and health care in creating new geographies of health care in Canada. This paper is also intended to remind us of the importance of a political economy approach in understanding geographies of health and health care.

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