Healthcare workers preparing for another day of protests at some Ontario hospitals

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Healthcare workers are preparing for what may be a very frustrating day as protests are planned at several Ontario hospitals.

The Ontario Hospital Association has released a statement, saying they are "saddened and deeply disappointed that additional anti-vaccination protests are planned outside hospitals this week."

Today's protests planned by people opposed to COVID-19 measures such as the upcoming proof-of-vaccination system and ongoing restrictions follow similar demonstrations at the start of the month.

OHA officials say during the September 1st protests, some people impeded patient access and harassed healthcare workers.

"Healthcare workers and patients receiving care should not be the target of protests. Protests and other legitimate forms of expression about policy should take place in other, more appropriate settings than a hospital," OHA President and CEO Anthony Dale writes. "We are seeking the support of the Government of Ontario and members of the legislature to strengthen protections for hospitals while also ensuring the ongoing right to freedom of expression for the public."

The Toronto General Hospital is one of the locations expected to be targeted today. Mayor John Tory has warned police are ready to arrest anyone blocking ambulance access. Toronto Police confirm officers will be on site and charges will be laid where warranted.

Premier Doug Ford calls the protests, "selfish, cowardly, and reckless" in a tweet from yesterday afternoon. "Our health care workers have sacrificed so much to keep us all safe during the pandemic. They don't deserve this kind of treatment - not now, not ever. Leave our health care workers alone."