THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Health Coalition is worried. In a statement today, “Most Ontarians don’t realize that the McGuinty government’s recent “austerity” budget will catapult the health system into another round of cuts”. With this warning, the Ontario and Thunder Bay Health Coalitions are launching a 15 city tour across Ontario, including a town hall meeting in Thunder Bay, to prepare citizens to stand up and protect local access to health care services.
“The government’s budget for health care is worse than even the most radical of recommendations. With the harsh new budget, the government is planning another major round of that will particularly hurt patients who need hospital care, nursing home placements, outpatient clinics and long-term care,” said Natalie Mehra, director of the Ontario Health Coalition.
“We are holding a town hall meeting to discuss the government’s plans and what they might mean for our local communities,” Suzanne Pulice, Co-chair of the Thunder Bay Health Coalition said. “With the town hall meeting, we will launching an action plan to protect Thunder Bay’s health services from further cuts.”
“We don’t want to see any more hardship as a result of patients unable to access the care they need,” said Natalie Mehra. “We are bringing a new warning about what is coming up, and we are asking residents to join us in the fight-back campaign to protect local access to public health care services.”
“There is no question that we can succeed in protecting needed care in our local communities,” Mehra added. “But to do so, we need to be prepared and vigilant.”
The coalition hopes that all community members who care about preserving public health care services will join the town hall meeting to hear updates about the budget cuts, give their input, and plan the fight-back campaign.
The town hall meeting will be held on Thursday May 31 at 7:00 pm – Waverley Resource Library, 285 Red River Road.
Speakers include: Trish Hennessey, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Diane Parker, Ontario Nurses’ Association; Kari Jefford, CAW; Mary Cory, OPSEU and Natalie Mehra, director, Ontario Health Coalition.
For more information: Co-chairs Sara Williamson 683-5669, Suzanne Pulice 629-6129 or Natalie Mehra 416-230-6402 (cell).