Health coalition plans ’emergency summit’
Posted: February 26, 2022
(February 24, 2022)
By: Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles, North Bay Nugget
Randy Robinson, director of the Ontario Office, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives speaks to local media Thursday during a news conference hosted by the North Bay Health Coalition. Robinson spoke about the elimination of licence fees and stickers, which he says could affect the province’s health-care budget. Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles, The Nugget
Henri Giroux, member of the North Bay Health Coalition, said the coalition will be participating in a province-wide campaign to fight back against health-care privatization and urgent improvements in the public not-for-profit care system.
The North Bay Health Coalition will hold “an emergency summit” March 22 at 7 p.m. The coalition says everyone who cares about local public health care can participate in the virtual summit.
The meeting will be held via Zoom. No link had been provided at press time.
Giroux said leaders and experts will join the North Bay Health Coalition to discuss the impacts of the local health care service.
He said following the summit the health coalition will launch a campaign to safeguard public health care service and stop privatization.
“We will have lawn signs, car decals and window decals.”
Dr. Nancy Olivier said for-profit status has an important impact on medical care, “which should be our primary concern whether we are going to do better or worse in these clinics.”
She said there are countless Canadian Medical Association journal articles that point out privatization hasn’t resulted in improved outcomes, including survival rates being worse in private for-profit hospitals.
“It’s because private investors expect a rate of return. Their administrators are rewarded for receiving a profit margin,” Olivier said.
She said she wants to stress that for-profit clinics aren’t safe.
Giroux said you just have to look at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.
“It was built in 2003 and opened in 2008 as a P3 hospital and we’ve seen four or five years of more staffing cuts – more than 100 jobs were eliminated.
Randy Robinson, director of the Ontario Office, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said Premier Doug Ford’s announcement this week the province will eliminate licence plate renewal fees and the requirement of have licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles is a concern.
“We’re going backwards in terms of collecting revenues. Since 2019 the government (has introduced) two dozen different tax cuts and tax credits totalling $5 billion,” he said, adding the license fees will add another billion dollars.
“The health budget is the biggest budget in the entire Ontario budget approaching $70 billion – 40 per cent goes to health care. If the government is intent on reducing revenues, which it clearly is, the only possible outcome is budget pressure on health care. Where that will pop up we don’t know exactly. We need more revenue not less.”
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