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Area healthcare advocates host Emergency Summit to fight back against privatization

Posted: March 25, 2022

(March 23, 2022)

By: This Week, The Peterborough Examiner

Peterborough and Kawartha healthcare advocates are hosting a virtual Emergency Summit March 31 to safeguard public health care, stop privatization and address the urgent need to improve care and staffing at long-term care facilities.

Local healthcare advocates are hosting a virtual Emergency Summit March 31, which they say is to protest the province’s support to expand for-profit clinics and hospitals in Ontario.

The event, co-hosted by the Peterborough Health Coalition, Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition and Haliburton-CKL Long-Term Care Coalition hope the event will generate support for the “biggest fight-back we have ever mounted” states a press release from the Peterborough group.

In addition to representation from the hosting trio, the summit – which begins at 7 p.m. on Zoom – includes Dr. Jasmine Gite, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition, Michael Hurley, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE and Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Similar efforts are being undertaken by groups across the province in response to a comment made by Health Minister Christine Elliot in early February. The comment related to the government’s support of for-profit clinics and services to help address backlogs in such healthcare needs as surgeries.

While this doesn’t assure efforts by the government to further privatize healthcare, the groups point out the province is midway in allocating more than 18,000 long-term care beds to for-profit companies in 30-year contracts; the majority going to the same companies responsible for thousands of deaths and horrific conditions, in fact the highest death rates, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advocates also say Premier Doug Ford has not reinstated comprehensive inspections nor improved care levels in long-term care.

The group hopes that, through events like the upcoming Emergency Summit will aid in their goal to protect and improve vital public health care services and stop the dangerous for-profit privatization of health care. The three Coalitions intend to set the threat to our public health care as a key election issue and push ‘all’ political parties to make commitments to safeguard public health care, stop privatization and address the urgent needs to improve ‘care and staffing’.

Those interested in registering for the Emergency Summit are invited to do so via Confirmation of registration will be emailed containing information about joining the meeting.

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