The Ford government in Ontario is sitting on more than $2-billion in budget surplus, yet it has frozen funding to public health and continues to try to depress health-care workers’ wages through Bill 124, which was recently ruled unconstitutional. Its intention is to defund public health care, let services deteriorate to a critical level, and introduce privatization as a solution. Health-care workers have criticized the push for privatization, saying it will worsen the current staffing shortages. The same surgeries at private clinics cost more than in public hospitals. A cataract surgery costs $455 in public hospitals, but $605 in a private clinic. Taxpayers are paying more for the same procedure so they can line the pockets of private clinics’ shareholders. Private clinics violate the Canada Health Act, which protects the right of patients to access medically necessary services free of charge. These clinics routinely charge patients hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra for OHIP-covered procedures and upsell patients on unnecessary, uninsured procedures. Patients are paying more to access poorer quality of care. Lola Ryan Ottawa, Ont.