I want everyone to understand why I am opposed to any strategy which would result in private, profit-driven ownership of Rainycrest, or private, profit-driven management of Rainycrest.
First, I believe that health care at Rainycrest should be about good care for patients, not about how much profit can be squeezed out of the workers and patients.
Let me also point out these companies make money by centralizing a lot of the jobs and services. So jobs like payroll, bookkeeping, accounting, and general administration typically are transferred out of the community to a central office somewhere.
The question needs to be asked how many more good jobs does the Fort Frances area want to transfer out? 10? 20? How many more families will leave Fort Frances, or the surrounding communities, because Extendicare has transferred their job—their work—to Toronto or Markham?
There are real issues to be addressed at Rainycrest. I know that, and I spent a lot of time over the past month talking with municipal reeves and councillors, Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. representatives, and Rainycrest representatives about the best way to address the budget problems at the home.
In my view, Rainycrest should be amalgamated with Riverside as soon as possible so that a sustainable public, not-for-profit solution is attained. In my view, any discussions or negotiations with Extendicare, or other private, profit-driven corporations, delays and gets in the way of a sustainable public, not-for-profit solution.
I urge the Rainycrest board to get real discussions with Riverside underway immediately, and tell Extendicare no thanks.
Howard Hampton, MPP