Letter from Brian Masse to Ontario Minister of Health Regarding the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre (OATC) in Windsor

August 12, 2009

Honourable David Caplan,
Minister of Health
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A2

Dear Minister Caplan,

I am writing you today concerning the opening of a branch of the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre (OATC), a private for profit medical corporation, in the City of Windsor. This new development has created significant concern in the community and raised serious questions that need to be addressed.

As you are aware there already exist two long established methadone treatment programs in Windsor operated by the Aids committee of Windsor and another at Hotel-Dieu Grace hospital respectively. The need for another clinic to provide this service has never been made public by any health agency let alone by the Local Health Integrative Network (LHIN), which is the designated authority to make need assessments and corresponding resource allocations. I am requesting that a study be done immediately to determine if there is an additional need for an increased capacity for this service in the City of Windsor.

Additionally, the private operators and principals of the OATC, according to media reports and publicly available documents, have questionable practices and methods that have been the subject of investigations by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Ontario Health Insurance Program, and Coroners’ offices. This is deeply troubling to residents, potential patients, the local health community and taxpayers. These questions of abuse of public resources, controversial procedures, and the seemingly clandestine approach to establishing this clinic have instituted an atmosphere of mistrust and controversy that demands ministerial involvement. A comprehensive review of this situation is needed.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,


Brian Masse, M. P.
Windsor West

cc: Sandra Pupatello, M. P. P. (Windsor West)

cc : Dwight Duncan, M. P. P. (Windsor-Tecumseh)

cc: Bruce Crozier, M. P. P. (Essex)

cc : Mayor Francis, City of Windsor

cc: City of Windsor Council