Thursday, October 17, 2013

Minister of Health Deb Matthews has all the answers on abortion exclusion clause

I met with my MPP this week Madeleine Meilleur (see here for what she told me).

I have now sent a letter to Minister Deb Matthews with these questions, as per Ms. Meilleur's suggestion. She told me that Deb Matthews has all the answers.

1) First of all, what rationale did the government have for excluding abortion services from FIPPA?

2) Second, since taxpayers fund abortion, in the same way they fund all medical services, why was this one service singled out for exclusion, when no other services were excluded?

Ms. Meilleur's letter of response to me regarding those two questions, stated that "the inclusion of hospitals under FIPPA is a strong indication of the Government's commitment to enhancing openness and transparency in the public sector."

She also mentioned that CIHI publishes Ontario statistics in their report and can be used for "research purposes", and that the changes "were debated in the Legislature".

So based on Ms. Meilleur's response (which didn't actually answer my questions), I added four additional questions for Ms. Matthews.

3. Can you please explain how exempting abortion services from FIPPA "enhances openness and transparency in the public sector"?
4. I agree that CIHI publishes abortion statistics for Ontario. However CIHI's statistics are grossly under reported for numerous reasons including the fact that CIHI does not base their numbers on OHIP billings; abortions done in private physician's offices are not included; and many clinics do not report abortions performed. In fact CIHI's statistics for Ontario are understated by at least 45%.
Please see here for more accurate abortion statistics I did for 2010 based on OHIP billings:

Can you explain to me how someone doing research into Ontario's abortion statistics, would use information that is inaccurate?
5. The letter states that "These amendments were debated and passed in the Legislature." Can you please provide me with the links to Hansard where the abortion exclusion clause was debated in the Legislature?

6) Ms. Meilleur stated that the changes to FIPPA were made because the hospitals and doctors requested the changes. Can you please tell me how and when these consultations took place. Were they meetings or submitted briefs?

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