FACT CHECK: Erin O’Toole Supports “For-profit” Health Care

FACT CHECK: Erin O’Toole Supports “For-profit” Health Care


Erin O’Toole is committed to allowing for-profit, two-tiered private health care in Canada. He continues to try and pretend that this is not the case, but his own words contradict him.

Yesterday, he said that under a Conservative government, ”every Canadian can benefit from free, high quality health care where they’re free to choose what’s best for them.” He also said, “If Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario or Québec want to innovate to provide better health care, I support that. Why? Because it gives Canadians more choice.”

What O’Toole is referring to by “choice” is giving the wealthy the ability to jump to the front of the line for health care services, which then puts them ahead of everyone else when it comes to results and treatment. In Erin O’Toole’s Canada, health care is about one’s willingness to pay - putting profit over people.

O’Toole has made previous references to the Saskatchewan model introduced by former Premier Brad Wall that allows private-pay MRI and CT clinics as a model the federal government should promote:

  • O’Toole’s 2017 Conservative Leadership platform stated, “Rather than threatening provinces with the withholding of funds, as the Trudeau government has been doing with Saskatchewan for experimenting with private MRI clinics, the federal government should actually reward such innovations that help improve timely and effective health care services across the country without jeopardizing the essential tenet of universal access.” (p. 35).
  • In the July 2020 video, he praises what Brad Wall did with respect to diagnostic imaging.

What Mr. O’Toole doesn’t want Canadians to know, and what health advocates agree on, is that this type of for-profit private health care undermines the public system.

Erin O’Toole cannot have it both ways. He cannot say he is in favour of universal access and support for-profit private health care like the Saskatchewan model.  It is clear that his view of universal access is faster access for the wealthy, while everyone else has to wait their turn.

While Erin O’Toole wants to bring in private, for-profit health care, we have spent the past six years strengthening our public and universal system that Canadians hold dear. It is incomprehensible that while we are experiencing the worst public health crisis, Erin O’Toole is looking for ways to scrap the system that Canadians rely on.

Liberals are investing $11 billion worth of federal transfers to support provinces and territories with home and community care and mental health. Liberals are committed to truly universal access in our publicly funded health care system, and we will always stand up and defend this important principle so that Canadians get access to health care based on need, and not on ability or willingness to pay.

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