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150,000 Ontario health care staff and patient advocates stage Health Action Day (Tuesday) to warn against health care privatization

Posted: May 3, 2019

NEWS PROVIDED BY Ontario Health Coalition | Posted: Apr 22, 2019, 16:40 ET

TORONTOApril 22, 2019 /CNW/ – Across Ontario in more than one hundred hospitals and health care facilities, staff and patient advocates are staging an “Health Action Day” tomorrow, Tuesday April 23. In an unprecedented show of unity, more than 150,000 health professionals and workers and tens of thousands of patient advocates will wear a sticker that say, “Stop Health Privatization” and will distribute leaflets warning about the Ford government’s radical health care restructuring plans.

The Ford government has given itself extraordinary powers to order the privatization of virtually all health care services and leaked documents show that plans are underway to begin privatization of a range of health care services. The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) has vowed to fight to protect local health care services from cuts, privatization, and mergers.

The OHC plans two media conferences regarding “Health Action Day” Tuesday April 23 as follows:

1 p.m. Queen’s Park Media Studio, Main Legislative Building, Toronto
2 p.m. Cross-province Media Teleconference. Dial in: 1-888-892-3255 (media only)

The Ford government has rammed a radical health restructuring law through the Legislature refusing to hear from thousands who applied for hearings and sent in submissions. All amendments prohibiting privatization were voted down by the Conservatives. The new law gives the Minister of Health and the government’s appointees in the new “Super Agency” the ability to force privatization of services as well as to merge, transfer services from town to town and from provider to provider, and close down services including public hospitals, long-term care, home care, community care, mental health, primary care, palliative care, cancer care, eHealth, air ambulance, laboratories and others.

In addition, the list of health care cuts under the Ford government is mounting:

  • Cut OHIP+ forcing families with sick children to pay deductibles and co-payments. (June 2018)
  • Cut planned mental health funding by more than $330 million. (July 2018)
  • Cancelled all new planned overdose prevention sites. (Autumn 2018)
  • Let surge funding run out. Surge beds are now closed without replacement, despite overcrowding crisis.
  • Cut and restructured autism funding. (Winter 2018/19)
  • Set health care funding at less than the rate of inflation and population growth, let alone aging. This means service levels cannot keep up with population need and will force cuts/privatization. (2019 Budget)
  • Set public hospital funding at less than the rate of inflation alone. This means real dollar (inflation adjusted dollar) funding cuts and serious service cuts/privatization. (2019 Budget)
  • Cut provincial public health funding by 27% and cut public health units from 35 to 10. (2019 Budget)
  • Introduced Bill 74 which gives sweeping new powers to the Minister and Super Agency to force privatization and restructuring of the entire health system. (February/March 2019)
  • Plan to cut and restructure ambulance services, down from 59 to 10. (April 2019)
  • Plan to cut half a billion dollars in OHIP services. (April 2019)

The Ontario Health Coalition is mobilizing for a massive health care rally outside the Ontario Legislature next week on Tuesday April 30 at noon. The rally is expected to draw thousands concerned about OHIP cuts, hospital cuts, privatization, mergers and centralization of health care services.

SOURCE Ontario Health Coalition

For further information: ohc@sympatico.ca, www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca, 416-441-2502

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