Ontario Health Coalition

Ontario Health Coalition

April 17, 2009 11:29 ET

Ontario Health Coalition Media Advisory: Strathroy Joins Hospital Fight Back!


STRATHROY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2009) -

Attn: Photo Opportunity

Residents of Sarnia, Petrolia, Lambton County and Strathroy will gather outside Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci's office, at 12:00 p.m., in protest of hospital cuts. The McGuinty government has set hospital global budgets at below the rate of inflation. The result is that more than 70 per cent of Ontario's hospitals are projected to be in deficit this year. Hospitals are required by the McGuinty government to eliminate their deficits even if it means cutting medically needed beds and services. Communities facing major cuts to their hospitals are being forced to deal with longer wait times, lost capacity, overcrowding, higher infection rates and having to pay out of pocket expenses. On April 18th Ontario Health Coalition members and allies are bringing the message to local Liberal government MPPs to insist that they hear legitimate community concerns about cuts to our hospital services.

PHOTO/TV(i): Each local health coalition, "friends of" hospital group or concerned citizens' committee has created visuals for the protest and there will be photo opportunities for both print and broadcast television.

What: On April 18th, communities from across the province who are facing
major hospital cuts or closures of entire hospitals will be holding
protests at their nearest McGuinty government MPP office.

Why: Consistent and intentional underfunding of hospital global budgets
by the McGuinty government are forcing a level of cuts to beds and
services not seen since the unprecedented Harris cuts of the
mid-'90s. Small and rural hospitals are under threat of closure,
emergency rooms are being closed, mass layoffs are being announced,
and services are being privatized, cut and/or centralized in
hospitals far from patients' homes. The situation is slated to get
worse in the fiscal year from April 1, 2009 - March 31, 2010 as more
than 70% of hospitals will be thrown into deficit unless the
government improves funding. (Ontario hospitals have been shrinking
as a percentage of the provincial budget for more than 20 years.)
For Ontario residents in both rural and urban communities, hospital
cuts mean lost capacity, longer waits, worse overcrowding,
traveling further, higher infection rates, and paying out of pocket.

When: Saturday April 18, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.

Where: MPP Maria Van Bommel's office
71C Front St. West
Strathroy, Ontario

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