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‘I’m basically losing my job’: Dozens attend hospital meeting in Orillia

Posted: May 4, 2016

(May 4, 2016)

Author: CTV Barrie

It was standing room only on Tuesday night at a public forum to discuss cuts at Orillia’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

Nurses, residents and councillors from around the region crammed into the Best Western Mariposa Inn to hear about what these cuts will mean for their local hospital and the city.

“I’m part time and I’m basically losing my job. I might be having to, what’s called displace into another unit, so it’s really unpredictable as to where I’m going to go,” says Michele Wilkes, a nurse at OSMH.

The hospital announced last week that it would cut a number of beds and 35 full time jobs to save $6 million in order to balance their budget.

“There’s hardly any beds left there now for anybody who’s sick, I mean it’s important that we have those beds,” says Orillia resident Gail Whidden.

The fear is that the trend of cutting back on health care is sweeping the province.

“The truth is the only way we are going to stop the cuts is if people, regular people, who care about protecting these services stand up and make themselves heard,” says Natalie Mehra, executive director of Ontario Health Coalition.

The OHC wants people to join in an Ontario wide referendum they are organizing. They want residents to vote on if they want the cuts to go forward.

“We are asking people if they will help us get voting stations in corner stores, in drug stores, or high traffic areas in town where we can ask people to vote do you want the hospital cuts to continue or do you want them stop.”

The groups says they want to get at least 200,000 people to participate in the vote.

The lobby group is holding their referendum on May 28.

The plan is to take all of the votes and deliver them to Premier Kathleen Wynne directly.

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