Ontario Health Care Demonstrations all take place at 11 am on Saturday, September 27.
Toronto: Meet at Metro Hall Square (King and John Sts), March to Queen’s Park
Windsor: Gather at Dieppe Park (Riverside and Ferry Sts), march to Dwight Duncan’s office
Kingston: Rally at McBurney Park (Ordinance and Alma Sts)
Sudbury: Rally at Tom Davies Square (Brady and Minto Sts)
Thunder Bay: Gather at Paterson Park (May and Miles Sts)
10 reasons why you and your family should attend Saturday’s health care rallies.
The Ontario Health Coalition is hosting five rallies this Saturday in Toronto, Windsor, Kingston, Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
Here are the top ten reasons why you should attend:
10. Democracy: Increasingly communities are losing their ability to elect board members to their local hospital, the province instead preferring self-appointing boards. The OHA policy states elected officials should not be able to sit on hospital boards, leaving no one accountable to the public.
9. Local Health Integration Networks: Also undemocratic, the LHINs were created to rationalize the health system and to shield politicians from the negative fall out. Recently they went to court to argue they didn’t have to consult the public on decisions that really mattered.
8. Privatization: Privatized health care is expanding in Ontario. It is much more expensive than public health care. The most privatized system in the developed world – the United States – is also the most inefficient. Americans spend almost 50 per cent more of their economy on health care than Canadians and yet leave millions uninsured and under insured.
7. Nursing Homes: Scandal after scandal is taking place in our nursing homes. Ontario has far more for-profit nursing home beds than any other province. Residents are left sitting in soiled incontinent pads all day long and suffer from other forms of neglect and abuse. Is this how we respect our elders?
6. Home Care: Roy Romanow called home care the next essential service. Ontario uses a system of competitive bidding to determine who will deliver home care. When an agency loses a contract, all the workers are let go. At a time when home care has become so important, nobody wants to work there anymore
5. Public-Private Partnerships (P3s): Expensive and inflexible, Ontario is rushing into dozens of P3 hospitals without evaluating the results of the two that have already opened. The P3 William Osler Hospital in Brampton has already cost taxpayers twice as much as the publicly-built Peterborough hospital. When inevitable building changes are required, there will be no tenders – the private consortiums will determine the rate charged to the public.
4. Shortages: Shortages are not just about doctors and nurses. Shortages exist in all health care professions. For example, the province has been graduating half the lab techs it needs over the last 10 years. Without a proper HR strategy, and poaching by an expanding private sector, our system could soon be in crisis. In some places, that crisis is already taking place
3. Hospital cuts: Across Ontario hospitals are facing dramatic cuts as the province squeezes them tighter. It is estimated that at least 50 per cent of Ontario hospitals are in debt, and that could rise to 70 per cent by next year. Everywhere core services are being shed, from ER to acute care mental health to birthing.
2. Your Wages: Hospitals are receiving less than inflation for the next two years. This fall our hospital professionals go into central bargaining. Without funding, it could be a very frustrating round. Unless health care workers are prepared to work for less and work harder, they should get out on Saturday.
1. Medicare. Indifference will kill Medicare if we don’t stand up now. The Harper government is not enforcing the Canada Health Act. Underfunding softens public opinion for lobbyists who seek to create a second tier of health care for Canadians who can afford it. We need to finish Tommy Douglas’ vision for Medicare, not roll it back.
Stop the cuts to hospital services
Stop homecare competitive bidding for good
Regulate a minimum care standard in long term care
Stop privatization and two tier extra billing
Find out more by visiting the OHC website.