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To fight backlogs, Ontario is expanding the number and range of surgeries offered at for-profit clinics

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones are making an announcement Monday, days after a senior government source said the province will ramp up the number of surgeries done in privately run for-profit clinics.

Ford suggested last week Ontario will increase surgeries done in for-profit clinics

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Sylvia Jones make an announcement in Toronto

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The news conference comes after a government source said the province will ramp up the number of surgeries done in privately run for-profit clinics.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones are making an announcement Monday, days after a senior government source said the province will ramp up the number of surgeries done in privately run for-profit clinics.

You can watch the news conference live in this story.

The premier's office has not said what the announcement will be, but CBC Toronto reported last week Ontario will expand the amount and range of surgeries performed in independent health facilities outside of hospitals.

The government official said the move would lead to thousands more surgeries and diagnostic procedures performed each year, an immediate way to reduce wait times for such operations as cataract removals.

Speaking to reporters at an unrelated event on Wednesday, Ford said the procedures would also eventually include some orthopedic surgeries like knee and hip replacements, as well as diagnostic tests.

Ford also said that patients will not have to pay out of pocket at the clinics.

Various health-care professionals told CBC Toronto they are concerned that the plan would drain resources from publicly funded hospitals and benefit the owners of private-sector clinics without improving patient care.

The agency that regulates doctors in the province, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, says it was not informed of the government's plans to implement the changes.

With files from Mike Crawley

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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