The ongoing vaccination program in Durham Region is being undermined by the Ontario government’s decision to privatize the service.
Thus far, the vaccine rollout has been operated publicly by the Regional Municipality of Durham through CUPE 1764 paramedics.
However, the Ford government recently contracted out part of the vaccination drive to Medavie Health Inc, a private operator.
Medavie has recently posted job openings for certified paramedics in Durham Region “to assist with mobile vaccination clinics in the province of Ontario.”
This is problematic. There is no reason for contracting out vaccine delivery to a private operator, which will fragment coordination, and reduce public oversight and democratic control.
Moreover, Medavie will not invent paramedics but hire from the existing workforce, effectively shifting resources from the public to the private sector. In fact, introducing a private employer in the mix will add a layer of bureaucracy to coordinate with the same pool of workers as opposed to a single administrative layer under public control.
Since Medavie privately incorporated, the public has no information—or say—about its operations, expenses and executive compensation. Why should we give up public control of a critical service?