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Coalition sees health-care spending as an election issue

Posted: April 8, 2022

(April 6, 2022)

By: Tyler Kula


An Ontario health-care watchdog group wants voters to think about issues like long-term care bed investments mostly going to for-profit homes when they go to the provincial polls in June.

“What we want to do is to try to educate as many people as we can about really what’s happening in health care and what we can do about it,” said Shirley Roebuck, the chair of the Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent and Wallaceburg chapters of the Ontario Health Coalition.


The group held a series of virtual “emergency summits” on health-care funding shortfalls and what the group says is system privatization on April 7.


Volunteers are also being sought for a “local action plan” that includes putting up lawn signs, window signs and car decals to spread awareness, Roebuck said.


“We want people to know about health care, and we’re trying to make this an election issue,” she said.


The non-partisan group fights against governments trying to eliminate public programs, she said.


A November report by the coalition found 16,000 of the 30,000 long-term care beds pledged by the Progressive Conservatives over the next decade are being allocated to for-profit homes, a segment of the sector that saw the highest COVID-19 death toll among residents.


There were 78 per cent more COVID-19 deaths among residents in Ontario for-profit homes than non-profit homes, officials said last fall.


Roebuck also pointed to a Financial Accountability Office of Ontario report last June that warned of potential planned tax cuts to explain revenue shortfalls.


The health coalition is also concerned about home care, officials said in a news release.


Election day is June 2.


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