Health Coalitions across the province holding summits to fight privatization

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Health Coalitions across Ontario are holding Emergency Summits this month by Zoom to build the biggest fight-back they've ever mounted against privatization. 

The groups accuse the provincial government of planning to privatize healthcare, and their goal is to protect and improve public health care services.

Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition, says it would be a disaster at anytime to introduce private, for-profit hospitals in the province, but especially now.

"We have such a beleaguered workforce in the public hospitals, there's such a severe staffing shortage," she continued. "What happens is where we have private for-profit clinics and hospitals in Canada, and there aren't many, but where they do exist they take the lightest, easiest care patients."

She says they don't take every patient, just the ones that can walk in and walk out.

"Not the ones who are attached to tubes, overweight, have diabetes. They don't have ICU's, they're not teaching hospitals and they don't have the backup that a normal hospital would have. If there's an emergency they literally have to call an ambulance and send someone to a regular hospital."

Mehra says a move to privatization would be siphoning off much needed funding for public hospitals and staff.

"Desperately needed staff to hospitals that really only serve the profitable patients, the ones that are in and out, quick and easy. And what lots of people don't realize is that the lightest, easiest care patients subsidize the heavier care, more complex patients in the public hospitals," she said.

The Windsor Health Coalition will be hosting its Zoom event on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m.

The Ontario Health Coalition is a non-partisan public watchdog for health care, which is intending to raise the threat to the public health care system as a key election issue.

 

- with files from AM800's The Shift