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Liberals need to get serious about health care in Scarborough and Durham

Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says the Liberal government is not giving the people of Scarborough and Durham region enough details about its plans for their health care.

Earlier today, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care announced the government will begin implementing some of the recommendations of a report on integrating hospitals in the two areas.  But Eric Hoskins did not commit to one key recommendation: building new hospitals.

“There is nothing concrete in the steps Minister Hoskins is taking that suggests health care will improve for the people of Scarborough and Durham region,” said Sara Labelle, chair of the Hospital Professionals Division of OPSEU. “The consultations that resulted in the recommendations were conducted by an expert panel hand-picked by the province.  We want more details and we want the community and the workers involved in future consultations.”

OPSEU represents about 2000 healthcare professionals in the hospitals involved in the plan.

The union says the small announcement today of $10 million in already-budgeted funding does not even begin to meet the requirements for the community, considering hospitals have endured years of consecutive cuts from the Liberal government.  

“This sounds to me like a government that is getting ready for an important by-election,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon resigned his seat in the riding of Scarborough-Rouge River in March.

“The Liberals need to know that they can’t expect to get votes on empty promises.  They need to put patients first, not just say they’re going to.”

For more information:

Sara Labelle, 905-914-4037
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931