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Ontario heading toward ‘two-tier health-care system,’ York Region coalition says

Posted: April 14, 2022

(April 12, 2022)

By: Michele Weisz, Newmarket Today


The Toronto and York Health Coalition, a branch of the Ontario Health Coalition, is holding an emergency virtual summit to create public awareness for what they consider to be the provincial government’s goal of privatizing health care.

“So many people aren’t even aware that this stuff is happening, happening now, and that the plan is to have more of it happening,” said Aurora resident Mary Jo Nabuurs, a coalition representative.

The summit will be held Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. and anyone can attend the event.

Featured speakers from the health-care industry include: Mary Jo Nabuurs and Carolyn Egan, representatives of the Toronto and York Region Health Coalitions; Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition; Dr. Dick Zoutman, former chief of staff at two Toronto hospitals; Michelle Jones, a long-term care advocate; Dr. Yipeng Ge, Canadian Doctors for Medicare; and Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE).

Once the non-partisan summit concludes, attendees will find out how they can receive lawn or window signs or vehicle decals so they can raise awareness through “boots on the ground” in their own communities, said Nabuurs.

“The idea is to inform, inspire them to get involved and help to get the word out to the communities, the general public who isn’t aware of what’s going on.”

Unless they are stopped, the Conservative government will allocate 18,000 long-term care beds to for-profit companies issued with 30-year contracts — the same companies responsible for thousands of deaths during the peak of the pandemic, according to the Ontario Health Coalition.

We’re going to end up with a two-tier health-care system like they have in the United States, Nabuurs said, and we’ve always prided ourselves on not having that.

Despite repeated announcements by Premier Doug Ford, long-term care conditions haven’t improved and the health-care industry’s staffing crisis hasn’t been adequately addressed, said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario coalition,a non-partisan public watchdog for health care.

The zoom meeting is “the biggest fight-back we have ever mounted,” she said in a news release.

To attend the summit, register to receive a Zoom link.

The Ontario Health Coalition is a network of more than 400 grassroots community organizations representing all areas of Ontario. Its goal is to push all political parties to make commitments to safeguard public health care, stop privatization and address the urgent needs to improve care and staffing.

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