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Brady organizing toward April 5 health care referendum

Take a stand to save our local hospitals

The editorial board of the Peterborough Examiner comments, “The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is raising an alarming question as it undergoes a three-week public relations blitz en route to a mock referendum it will be holding across the province next month. …The (Ontario) government has issued guidelines for proposals to local health integration networks to begin the process of cutting and contracting out services to (to private clinics for) MRIs, cataract surgery and other medical services currently performed in hospitals… Contracts could be finalized by mid-summer.”

The newspaper continues, “The issue is something Ontarians should take a closer look at. …Is this a slippery slope to a two-tiered health system? …What’s in it for the private clinics? The obvious answer is profit. In British Columbia and Quebec, where private clinics have been allowed to propagate, patients are being charged thousands of dollars for MRIs and hip and cataract surgeries, the OHC says.”

Council of Canadians Board member and Peterborough Health Coalition spokesperson Roy Brady says, “How do you make money? You charge patients fees … you charge the government more in OHIP payments. If these clinics are going to push some people up the ladder and leave the others down at the bottom, that’s because people are paying for health care and that’s not what we as Canadians want.”

Brady is organizing in Peterborough toward a referendum on Saturday April 5. The ballot offers two choices: ‘I support our local public hospitals. I do not want the government to cut their services or contract them out to private clinics’ or ‘I support cutting services from our local public hospitals or contracting them out to private clinics.’ Brady says, “We want to know what the people think because the government has not asked them.”

The Examiner concludes, “Whether you agree with the OHC or not, Ontarians should be having a debate over this issue. It’s not something that should be decided at the bureaucratic level with the thump of a rubber stamp.”

Further reading
London chapter organizes to ‘Save Our Local Hospitals’
Save Our Local Hospitals referendum campaign