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Health coalition rallies against privatization of public hospital services

Posted: April 19, 2023

(April 18th, 2023)

By: Hayley Cheng, London News Today


The Ontario Health Coalition has launched a citizen-run referendum, calling on the public to stand up against the privatization of health care in the province.

The coalition held launch events in several cities Tuesday, including London, Windsor, Petrolia, and Chatham.

According to the coalition, the Ford government is pushing forward with plans to move services such as surgeries, MRIs, CTs, and diagnostic tests, towards for-profit health care.

In London, the local OHC chapter its supporters rallied at the southeast corner of Richmond St. and Cheapside St., just outside of the Grosvenor site of St. Joseph’s Health Care. One of its main concerns is that private hospitals and clinics will charge patients more for necessary surgeries and tests.

“It’s just hard for people when they’re going through so much, when they’re sick, to have to make decisions about paying more, to have to pay out of pocket. We decided long ago that we should deliver services based on need, not greed,” said Jeff Hanks, co-chair of the London Health Coalition. Just down the road from where they gathered is Advanced Medical Group, one of the many private clinics the coalition says will benefit from increased privatization of health services.

“It cost more in the private clinic to do the surgery than to do it in our empty OR,” said Hanks. “Most of our ORs are open until 4 and not open evenings and weekends. One doctor in the system said we just need to open them two more hours a day to clear the backlog in no time and it costs less.”

The coalition is asking anyone over the age of 16 to vote on Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27, in hopes of improving public health care and putting an end to privatization. The referendum question the coalition is posing is: Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics? Yes or No.

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