Public invited to join in healthcare campaign
Posted: December 23, 2022
(December 23, 2022)
By: Sara McCleary, Sault This Week
The Ontario Health Coalition and the local chapter, Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma Health Coalition, hope to see more community members become active in what they call the fight to save public health care.
Although the local chapter was active in the spring, supporting the province-wide Fightback Against Healthcare Privatization Campaign headed by the OHC with an online summit and sign campaign, it has been quiet in the months since.
“Without more community support, it is difficult to have an active coalition,” Marie DellaVedova, a local organizer, told Sault This Week.
Albert Dupuis, another local organizer, echoed DellaVedova’s comments but added that with tentative plans for further online townhalls and protests in Northern Ontario for the new year, it’s a good opportunity for more community members to take action if they are concerned about the healthcare system in the province. Those activities may not move forward in the Sault without more volunteers getting involved.
The OHC recently organized a series of rallies in larger centers across the province, including Niagara, Ottawa, Waterloo, Windsor, and Toronto, in an effort to put pressure on Premier Doug Ford to take steps to fix the current healthcare situation, which many experts have said is now in crisis. The Coalition is worried that the government will use the crisis as an excuse to move towards privatization of the healthcare system.
“The catastrophe in our healthcare system is totally gut-wrenching and unacceptable,” said DellaVedova. “That the Ford government has yet to admit there is a healthcare crisis is beyond belief. We are actually beyond crisis now. The suffering will increase until the government acts in a meaningful and substantive way to increase staffing levels and provide adequate care for all Ontarians.”
DellaVedova accepts that the system will not be fixed quickly, but believes there are steps the government could take now to ease the situation and move towards correcting the current challenges.
“But our government has been largely silent,” she said. “While emergency departments close, waiting times increase, little children are going without proper care, expectant mothers panic over maternity ward closures, and vulnerable seniors are coerced into long-term care homes far from their families, our government can’t even admit we are in a catastrophic situation.”
The OHC believes this is why it is important for Ontarians to band together to push back against Ford’s inaction.
“We must force the Ford government to address the crisis and take urgent action to support our local public hospitals. We can do this, but everyone needs to help to make it happen,” reads the OHC’s website.
Those who would like to get involved or support the work of the OHC at the provincial or local level are invited to do so. A good place to start locally is the group’s Facebook page, named “Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma Health Coalition.”
Dupuis said he has used the page to share some speakers discussing different areas of concern around the healthcare crisis.
To get involved in local planning activities, email email@example.com.
At the provincial level, the OHC invites Ontarians to become members with a monthly or one-time donation, or to volunteer to help with their fundraising activities. More information about how to get involved and what the OHC is doing can be found on their Facebook page (@OntarioHealth) or their website at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca.