- Jun 20 2023
- 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Ontario Health Coalition Summit of All Members and Supporters
Ontario Health CoalitionSummit of All Members & SupportersYou are invited to a special “summit” meeting of all of our members and supportersto plan next steps in the fightback to stop the Ford government from privatizing our public hospitals.Who:All of our members and supporters, volunteers, leaders of affiliated organizations, members of affiliated organizations, anyone who supports the fightback to stop the privatization of Ontario’s public hospitals and wants to work constructively with a large social movement.
How to join:You must register to join the virtual online meeting. All supporters are invited and registration is easy! It takes less than a minute. Here is the link to register: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMofu-grTIrGtCYR0U5DhidseMCPxZPeRc8#/registrationIf you have never used Zoom before it is simple! Once you have registered, Zoom will automatically email you the link for the meeting. Use that link next Tuesday at 6 p.m. to join the meeting. When you click on the link it will take you to the virtual meeting. If you join a few minutes early, not to worry, you will be in a virtual “waiting room” until 6 p.m. when we will move everyone online into the meeting.Context, Background & Update:The Ford government announced their plans to privatize the core services of our public hospitals two months after last year’s provincial election. (They had categorically denied plans to privatize those services leading into the election.) They put out tenders for three for-profit day hospitals, one in Windsor, one in Ottawa and one in Waterloo. In January, they re-announced plans to privatize these services. In response to media questions, Premier Ford said it is his government’s assessment that 50% of the surgeries provided in our public hospitals are the “easy” type – the ones slated for privatization. That is fully every surgery done in small hospitals in Ontario and most done in the medium sized hospitals. It is also all the surgeries that are “profitable” and that subsidize the more complex patients in the large hospitals. The Ford government has had a very significant hand in creating the unprecedented crisis we are seeing in our public hospitals. They have taken policy measures like underspending the COVID and other health care funding by billions of dollars every single year, refusing to take public health measures that would alleviate the burden of infectious disease, putting in wage suppression legislation worsening the staffing crisis and pursuing policies of underfunding, understaffing, replacing workers with temporary and for-profit agency staff, and doing virtually nothing to recruit back staff who have retired out. While virtually every public hospital in Ontario has operating rooms that are sitting unused the majority of the time, the Ford government is pouring tens of millions of new money into building ORs in private for-profit clinics, expanding private for-profit clinics, establishing new private for-profit clinics, and tendering for-profit day hospitals.This winter we launched a community-led referendum in which we got more than 500 voting stations across the province outside local businesses, at Legions, in parks and at busy corners, at markets and outside grocery stores. We staffed the voting stations with thousands of volunteers and we were able to gather more than 400,000 votes at the end of May, 99% of which were opposed to the privatization of our public hospitals.Throughout this process, things have begun to shift. In communities like Ottawa where the public hospital is allowing a for-profit company to poach staff and use its operating rooms on weekends, there have been regular protests. In Toronto, physician leaders have won the expansion of public hospital operating room time in places like Michael Garron hospital and Sunnybrook. In the Legislature, the Ford government that twice brazenly announced its plans to privatize our hospitals (in August and January) will no longer even breathe the words “privatization” or “for-profit”. They call them “community health clinics” and are running away from owning their own policy of privatization. An Angus Reid poll shows that 78% of Ontarians believe the Ford government is doing a bad or very bad job on health care. A Conservative pundit wrote an Op Ed piece in the National Post chain attacking us and pretending that privatization of our core hospital services is not privatization of our hospitals. The newspaper chain would not even give us the right of response to the piece. The Ford government reinstated funding that they had cancelled for “locums” in small, rural and northern hospitals that are having staffing shortages.When a government is afraid to admit their own policy that they announced openly only a few months before, they are feeling the pressure. Now is the time to ratchet it up. We can win this. We can stop the privatization of our public hospitals. We have no choice but to build the biggest, most effective and unrelenting fightback we can. It took our communities more than a hundred years to build these services. They are ours. If we lose them it will be very difficult, if possible at all, to get them back. So, we fight for what is ours for generations to come.Thank you all for being part of this historic movement to save our public hospitals.