Le Lézard

Health Coalition Announces Massive Fight Back to Stop the Ford Government's Plans to Privatize Ontario's Public Hospitals

TORONTO, April 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time, Ontario's government is pushing forward with plans to privatize the province's public hospitals. In response, thousands of Ontarians have taken to the streets of their communities to organize a mass citizen-run referendum. The Ontario Health Coalition and its local chapters across the province are launching the referendum on Tuesday April 18 in media conferences and availabilities across Ontario.

On January 16, the Ford government announced it is moving forward with plans to "substantially," in their own words, expand for-profit clinics and hospitals to take the surgeries and diagnostics out of our local public hospitals. Surgeries, MRIs and CTs are core public hospital services. In response to media questions, Premier Ford said that it is his government's estimation that 50% of the surgeries done in our public hospitals are the "easy" sort-- the profitable ones that for-profit clinics and hospitals want to take ? and the kind that his government wants to privatize. The government has contracted the first three for-profit clinics (day hospitals) in Windsor, Waterloo and Ottawa, and is allowing for-profit corporations to run surgeries out of under-used public hospital operating rooms already.

The government introduced enabling legislation on the first day the Ontario Legislature re-opened in February and has used its majority to push through Bill 60 and vote down all amendments proposed by the Opposition parties. Thus, any public hearings as brief and without notice as they were, were pro forma, and had no impact on Ford's plans. The legislation is expected to pass this week.

The Health Coalition has vowed an unprecedented fightback to match the unprecedented privatization of Ontario's core public health care services.

The Ontario public has never had any say about this plan to cut these vital services from our local public hospitals and privatize them. Most of our communities have spent the last hundred years or more fundraising, donating and volunteering to build up their local hospitals and bring services closer to home.

Details will be announced in the press conferences to be held across Ontario as follows:

All events listed will be on Tuesday, April 18.

Ontario-wide & Greater Toronto Health Coalition at 12 pm
Queen's Park, outside of the Main Legislature Building
For more information: Natalie Mehra at 416-230-6402 or ohc@sympatico.ca;
Carolyn Egan at 416-806-7985 or greatertorontohc@gmail.com

Peel Region Health Coalition at 10 am
Outside Brampton Civic Hospital, 2100 Bovaird Drive East, Brampton
For more information: Mohammad Ali Aumeer at 416-770-7858 or peelregionhc@gmail.com

North Bay Health Coalition at 10 am
OPSEU Hall, 150 First Avenue East, North Bay
For more information: Henri Giroux at 705-471-7746 or hgiroux1@hotmail.com

Algoma Health Coalition at 12 pm
Outside MPP Ross Romano's constituency office, 390 Bay St, Sault Ste Marie
For more information: Albert Dupuis at 613-808-7710 or aldupuis@rogers.com

Simcoe County Health Coalition at 12 pm
In front of the Royal Victoria Hospital, 201 Georgian Dr, Barrie
For more information: Anisa Carrascal at 647-835-7870 or simcoecountyhc@gmail.com

London Health Coalition rally in support of public hospital services at 10 am
Southeast corner of Richmond St and Cheapside St, Grosvenor site of St. Joseph's Health Care, London
For more information: Peter Bergmanis at 519-860-4403 or pbergmanis@rogers.com

Windsor Health Coalition at 10 am
Byng Rd, just south of Tecumseh Rd across from the Byzantine Church, Windsor
For more information: Tracey Ramsey at 519-995-0239 or Traceyramsey200@gmail.com

Chatham-Kent Health Coalition at 10:20 am
Chatham VIA Rail Train Station, 360 Queen St, Chatham
For more information: Shirley Roebuck at 226-402-2724 or goddess@bell.net

Sarnia-Lambton Health Coalition at 12 pm
In front of the Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health, 450 Blanche St, Petrolia
For more information: Shirley Roebuck at 226-402-2724 or goddess@bell.net

Peterborough Health Coalition at 11 am
Peterborough and District Labour Council office, 246 Romaine St, Peterborough
For more information: Marion Burton at 705-868-7352 or marionburton@nexicom.net

Kingston Health Coalition at 11:30 am
In front of the Hotel Dieu hospital, 166 Brock St, Kingston
For more information: Joan Jardin at 613-305-2716 or kingstonhealthcoalition@gmail.com

Haliburton Highlands LTC Coalition at 12 pm
Near the Information Centre in Head Lake Park, 13 York St, Haliburton
For more information: Bonnie Roe at 705-457-6579 or Bonnieroe08@gmail.com

Cornwall Health Coalition at 12 pm
Beside the Cornwall Community Hospital, 840 McConnell Ave, Cornwall
For more information: Louise Lanctot at 613-932-1943 or louiselanctot18@gmail.com; Elaine MacDonald at 613-330-3117 or elainemacdonald11@gmail.com

Niagara Region Health Coalition at 10 am
In front of the St. Catharines Hospital, 1200 Fourth Ave, St Catharines
For more information: Sue Hotte at 905-402-2724 or suehotte@yahoo.ca

Hamilton Health Coalition at 12 pm
USW Local 1005 Hall, 350 Kenilworth Avenue North, 2nd floor Boardroom
For more information: Janina Lebon at 905-545-5514 or jlebon@sympatico.ca

Durham Region Health Coalition
Location, date, & time TBA
For more information: Pam Parks at 905-447-1124 or bbgoodday01@yahoo.ca

Media Availability
The following areas will not be holding press conferences but will be available to speak to the media:

Grey Bruce County Health Coalition: Norah Beatty at 519-477-3513 or greybrucecountyhc@gmail.com
Guelph District Health Coalition: Brit Hancock at 289-690-6758 or guelphdistricthealthcoalition@gmail.com
Northumberland Health Coalition: Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas at 905-376-2189 or lmackenzie-nicholas@cogeco.ca
Ottawa Health Coalition: Ed Cashman at 343-999-6886 or ed.cashman.ottawa@gmail.com
Renfrew County Health Coalition: Leona Haley at 613-602-1646 or renfrewcountyohc@gmail.com

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