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Healthcare rally planned in Chatham

Posted: October 23, 2019

(October 22, 2019)

, Blackburn News

(From left to right) Shirley Roebuck, Emily Webb, Mayor Mike Bradley, Laurie Nancekivell at Sarnia City Hall. October 22, 2019. (Photo by Sarnia Lambton Health Coalition)

Another major healthcare rally is planned in Chatham Saturday, November 2.

The Sarnia Lambton Health Coalition wants to fill a bus to make the trip in support of local healthcare services.

In April, the province promised to reduce the number of public health units from 35 to 10 by 2021. Lambton Public Health is to merge with its counterparts in Chatham-Kent, Windsor-Essex, London-Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford.

Health Coalition Chair Shirley Roebuck said local residents do not want any centralization or privatization of health services.

“We believe that each community is different and has different needs, and therefore, services should be localized to provide excellent care for those that live in each community,” said Roebuck. “I believe that if public health units are centralized, probably out of London, then Sarnia and all of the small towns and rural places in our community, will lose their voice in how our public health units are run.”

The Doug Ford Tories also plan to close 49 of 59 ambulance services and amalgamate 22 ambulance dispatch centres to ten.

“The dispatch would be given to probably London for this area, and it’s simply not workable,” said Roebuck. “I do believe that in Sarnia we have an excellent public health unit which is very attuned to the needs of Lambton County.”

Roebuck said Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley and Lambton Council championed a resolution in support of local healthcare services.

“They passed this resolution saying that they did not want any cuts or any centralization and they wanted local healthcare services to remain, and then, Mayor Bradley sent the resolution to every municipality in Ontario, and I’m happy to report there are numerous municipalities, including Kingsville and Toronto, passed this motion.”

For more information on next month’s rally or to reserve your seat on the bus heading to Chatham, click here or call Shirley Roebuck at 226-402-2724.

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