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Health Coalition Holds Meeting To Protest Hospital Cuts

Posted: April 1, 2016

(April 1, 2016)

Author: Kirk Dickinson, BlackburnNews.com

The Ontario Health Coalition is appealing to the public to help protest staffing cuts at provincial hospitals, including Windsor Regional.

The health coalition held a town hall meting in Windsor on Thursday, and plans to hold a “referendum” using voting stations in May, to give everyone in Ontario the chance to speak out.

Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, says the group hopes to gain enough votes with the province-wide referendum to help prevent ongoing, “devastating cuts” to jobs and health care.

“If we don’t stand up and stop it, we’re in for at least another few years of cuts,” she says. “For some communities, their hospitals will not survive, and for others, their care is only going to worsen.”

Faced with a $20-million shortfall, Windsor Regional Hospital announced it January that it is cutting more than 160 full-time positions across its two campuses. The cuts include 120 nursing positions and 40 other full-time positions in other departments. Eighty registered practical nurses, with a starting wage of $27.50/hr will replace 80 registered nurses who make between $31.02/hr and $44.85/hr.

“The funding is not adequate, but we need to make sure that what there is goes to frontline services, and actually improving care,” she says. “The evidence is very clear that Ontario has dropped funding to a level that has resulted in very significant cuts to services.”

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