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Health coalition gearing up for rally

Posted: October 29, 2015

(October 29, 2015)

By North Bay Nugget Staff

The Ontario Health Coalition and its North Bay chapter are gearing up for next month’s Take Back Our Hospital Rally.

At 9 a.m. Friday, local health patients, seniors, health advocates and hospital workers are expected to endorse the rally at 120 King St. W., outside by the sign for the North Bay Regional Health Centre – Mental Health Clinic.

The health coalition and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are organizing the public rally for noon Nov. 30 at Lee Park.

Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, stated previously the public is concerned about cuts at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, where 158 full-time equivalent jobs are being eliminated.

Mehra said the recent cuts are among the worst in Ontario.

“This routine of unstable funding and continuous cuts has to be stopped,” she said during a teleconference town hall earlier this month in North Bay in which more than 4,300 people participated.

Mehra said the rally will show hospital executives and politicians at Queen’s Park the community’s strength and commitment to public health care.

“We have got to put pressure on the provincial government. We need more hospital beds and more staff,” she said.

Mehra said CUPE has won similar battles.

For example, she said, 60 beds were returned to a Windsor hospital.

“Ontario has the lowest number of beds per population, and North Bay is the worst example in the worst province,” stated national CUPE president Paul Moist, who was also in North Bay for this month’s teleconference.

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