Hundreds from the London region loaded onto buses and vehicles, heading to Queen’s Park to take part in Tuesday’s rally voicing opposition to provincial health care funding changes.

Two busloads left London for Toronto around 8:30 a.m. headed to the noon hour rally.

The London Health Coalition organized the trip to Queen’s Park.

Coalition co-chair Jeff Hanks says their concerns start with the Ford government establishing a health super agency.

“They can basically privatize, cut, merge anything they want,” he says.

Hanks points to announced plans to reduce the number of ambulance services from 54 to 10 across the province. And he says more than $2 billion will be cut from public health units and the broader health care system.

“It’s just tons of cuts and no accountability,” he says.

Speaking prior to the rally, Health Minister Christine Elliott insisted OHIP won’t be circumvented by her government’s changes to health care funding. But she makes it clear, there is, and will continue to be, a private component to health care.

“Should we take doctors out of the picture? A lot of doctors are entrepreneurs, they operate their own practices. So, I think it’s not realistic to expect there will be no private delivery in health care. But what it is paid for people is with their OHIP card. And that’s what I intend to continue.”

Hanks says the rally is just the start of an effort to protect public health care, “Once this big rally is done, we’ll move into a new campaign to try and get millions of people to build a broad movement to protect public health care.”

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