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Health coalition calls on public to stand up for health care

Posted: May 4, 2024

(May 3, 2024) By: Mike McDonald, CTV News Northern Ontario

The de-rostering of thousands of patients at the Group Health Centre in Sault Ste. Marie was the centre of attention at a town hall Friday organized by the Algoma chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition.

Guest speakers included politicians, policy analysts and physicians and the focus of the meeting was the need to protect public health care.

Albert Dupuis of the Ontario Health Coalition Algoma said the gathering was designed to educate the public on the importance of health care and the drawbacks of privatization.

“It’s not because we’re lacking resources,” Dupuis said.

“It’s because the politicians are making choices to deny the investment in the resources that they would be able to put into the public system if they should so choose. Instead, we’re opting for private options and for profiteering.”

While the vast majority of those in attendance were seniors, Coalition executive director Natalie Mehra said health-care issues affect people of all ages.

“Seniors are the biggest users of the health system, so it’s kind of natural, but we do find that there’s kind of huge support for public health care among young people, as well,” said Mehra, who said the de-rostering of 10,000 patients at Group Health Centre is drawing attention from across Ontario to the health care crisis.

“This primary care crisis, this access crisis, is rolling out in a way we’ve never seen,” said Mehra.

“I think Sault Ste. Marie is the epicentre, and I think it’s sort of fitting because the Group Health Centre was the model for community health centres that developed across the province.”

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