Statement on Government Cuts to Life-Saving Healthcare Program Serving Uninsured People

The Legal Clinic is profoundly disappointed that the Ontario Government plans to end a vital program that provides OHIP coverage to uninsured people living in Ontario. This program successfully improves health outcomes and reduces financial hardship for our uninsured clients who need hospital-based services.

This cancellation announcement came without notice and is set to occur on March 31, 2023. If the Ontario Government cancels this program, Ontario’s most marginalized will be hurt, disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities.

There are many reasons Ontarians do not have an OHIP card: they may be unhoused and lose their identification, leave a violent home with no belongings, struggle with addiction issues, or are elderly and unable to take care of themselves let alone renew their OHIP card. They may also be on temporary work or study or without authorized immigration status, living and working in Ontario for years.

People with severe health conditions should not have to wait until it is too late to seek care because they are afraid that they will be rejected, saddled with mounting debt, or stuck in costly red tape to replace their identification. Access to healthcare saves lives and prevents health complications and suffering. It is also more effective and less costly to our system when people receive timely healthcare before their conditions deteriorate.

We urge the provincial government to save lives by ensuring continued access to healthcare for uninsured people living in Ontario.

We also encourage members of the public to send a message to the Premier and to their MPP through Healthcare4All’s website here, and to read about the need to maintain this program and the devastating impact that cuts to this program will have.