Ontario Health Care Coalition Referendum
Posted: April 29, 2023
(April 28, 2023)
By: Judith Marsh, The Millstone
Do you care about accessible healthcare? This is your opportunity to make your opinion heard!
On January 16th, the Ontario government announced plans to take thousands of surgeries and diagnostic tests out of local public hospitals and move them to for-profit hospitals and clinics. In response, the Ontario Health Coalition is mounting a province-wide community-run referendum to be held on Friday May 26th and Saturday May 27th. The question on the ballot will be: “Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics?” Online voting will be available starting May 2nd at www.publichospitalvote.ca . Additional information on the referendum can be found at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca.
Across the province, volunteers will be setting up over a thousand voting stations outside of grocery stores and coffee shops, at legions and community centres. Almonte is no slouch went it comes to volunteerism, so a local committee has been struck and is working hard to secure a venue in town. We will let you know when a location has been finalized. We hope to keep the poll open from 10 am – 4 pm both days if we can find enough volunteers to work two hour shifts. If you could help us out and volunteer for a shift (or perhaps two), please let us know as soon as possible. We also need your help to spread the word far and wide. Please use your personal networks and talk to family and friends. Turnout for the recent provincial election was extremely disappointing. We are really hoping that the citizens of Ontario will show up now to make their voices heard on this issue.
A vibrant community spirit has, throughout the generations, supported and sustained the Almonte General Hospital. Countless volunteer hours and fundraising efforts have been devoted to keeping our hospital services close to home. What effect will a move to privatization have on local services? Province-wide, hospitals are chronically short-staffed, and the scarcity of health professionals won’t be improved by nurses and doctors moving to the private sector. With fewer staff, might those who can’t afford private healthcare have to wait even longer for diagnostic tests and surgery?
The upcoming referendum presents an opportunity for the citizens of Ontario to weigh in on the issue of privatization: will it solve the healthcare crisis in our hospitals? Speak up. Let the government know how you feel and show up to vote – virtually or in person on May 26th and 27th!