CUPE’s (Candian Union of Public Employees) recent warning of job cuts and bed closures needs to be taken very seriously by everyone in Ontario.

In Thunder Bay, our hospital budgeted for a $5-million shortfall in the 2017-18 fiscal year. The Liberal government last year realized that many hospitals were in financial trouble and provided a “one time” payment to many hospitals including ours which received a “one time” payment of $10 million. In the financial report at the annual general meeting last month, a $2.5-million surplus was reported. A simple calculation would suggest that the hospital would have had a shortfall of $7.5 million if it were not for the $10-million gift from the government.

Doug Ford has hired Gordon Campbell to do a fiscal review of Ontario’s finances. Gordon Campbell, to quote Natali Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition, “is pehaps the biggest enemy of public health care in Canada.” As premier of British Columbia, he privatized public hospitals and brought in user fees.

I doubt very much that Doug Ford and his Conservative government will be able to provide a $10-million payment to our hospital this year. As I stated, our regional health sciences centre was not the only hospital in the province receiving this “one time” payment and you can be assured that if there is a payment, which I doubt there will be, it will be going to hospitals in Doug Ford’s Conservative ridings.

The Thunder Bay Health Coalition and the Ontario Health Coalition share CUPE’s grave concerns for the future of our hospitals in Thunder Bay and Ontario.

Jules Tupker

http://www.chroniclejournal.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/campbell-ford-no-friends-of-public-health-care/article_6ecef21a-9752-11e8-aae6-174fdba7e820.html