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Minutes
Kingston Health Coalition Meeting
22 October 2003



Item 1: Meeting with Whig Standard Editorial Board (deputation to
Community Editorial Board). They are willing to meet with us - Ross will
arrange.

Item 2: Review of Election Resuluts. Health Coalition can take full
credit for the position the Liberals took on the 3 P's and the M.R.I.
private clinics.

Item 3: Election of Executive, Need 2 co-chairs (one from community, one
from labour and preferably gender parity), secretary, treasurer. We will
hold elections at the January meeting. In the meantime Sandra Willard has
agreed to be the treasurer.
(Sandra willing to be treasurer.)

Item 4: Re: election, no commitment made to improvement in health care
for seniors, improvement in care at long term care facilliteis. Wasn't
covered in Romanow report either.

Council on Aging is commencing its poster campaign by end of November.
Making visible the plight of seniors. Cost of long term care. Private
ownership invading long term care. Breaking people needing it. Needing
$2200 per month. It was agreed that the Health Coalition will try to
coordinate its activities with the poster campaign.

Conditions in local senior care centres were discussed. Ministry of Health
Compliance Officer, Linda Hamilton coming to Kingston. Families upset about
Providence Manor - will discuss reporting failure to comply with standards.
- not enough food. Rotating people so each person got something, but not
enough. Cloth diapers. Insufficient - as long as 8 hours in soiled
diapers. Families had to buy disposables Improved since Sue Laconda left,
but still bad. No teeth in compliance officer. Nothing done in past
despite repeated complaints, just visits every two weeks. Can't yank
licence. But can be denied certification. In Brockville no longer
certified. Council On Aging tells seniors verify certification.

Could raise it when meet with Whig. Offer help with information and leads.
Series. Get Anne to cover standards meeting. and issues of care at
Providence Manor. One idea raised was a visible campaign such as a Food
Drive and dropping off care packages in front of the centre. It was noted
that Sister Pauline Lalley has been elected chair, improving things there.
Extend campaign to other long term care facilities not meeting standards to
highlight issues.

There may be exceptions - Helen Henderson Centre, for example. We need to
recognize these well-run operations and what makes for their better
functioning.

Item 5: Natalie: Health Action Assembly 22nd Nov in Toronto
We discussed what we need to work on in preparation.
Update on events and identification of priority objectives
stop PPP hospitals
improve standards in long term care
restore home care
roll back privatizaton of home care
context for real primary care reform and access to drs.

a) PPP s were an issue in the election and McGuinty promised to cancel
Ottawa Hospital deal, but not Brampton.
No promise to turn over Brampton deal. But defeated Tony Clements at least.

Long term standards to be met promised in generalities, but not specifics.
Said will return to standards in place prior to Harris Govt. Wouldn't roll
back privatization home care, but will restore access.up to cost of living
in institution.
Liberal's model: Drs. onto salaries, health teams, support to create teams.
No global budget that community health clinics have for social work,
preventative intitiatives etc.

Legal challenge by OHC helped determine that there are limited financial
penalties for failing to close deals - at most 2 million dollars.

Hospitals have ramped up propaganda campaign. OHC challenging
privatization of hospitals arguing that there is no legal basis for private
deal. Injunction refused. Nothing happening at moment. OHC investigating
further legal options. Provincial Transition team not signing anything
until cabinet convenes. 17 Nov house reconvenes.

Liberal Govt is committed to undo deals re MRI clinics, end to secret deals.

b) Pledge campaign cards available. Two week push to get over 100,000
persons New pledge cards without vote references. Ad campaign under
consideration re: poaching, exposing evils of for-profits, impact on
women, Legal challenge going on.

c) Nov 4 strategy session one rep each council bring report back to
Assembly including draft strategy. Want big turn out. Meeting of local
councils post assembly prior to Xmas.

d) Daniel Benedict health care coalition activist died during election.
Decided to create a Dan Benedict award for Health Coalition Activist best
embodies life commitment. Local Health Coalitions person.

At least 3 people going to Nov 22 meeting. Sandra, Connie, Brian, Ross.
Ross driving down Friday, need to get back self.


Next meeting 26 November, Wednesday, 6:30 pm, Council On Aging.

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The following are less structured notes of the discussion that took place
to the end that the ideas raised be on record for future consideration.

Brainstorm session on action ideas:

Cross province protests re: MRI's
Big Action in Toronto
Poster on Privatized Health Care Companies records
Reports on each community on Home Care problems
Publicity campaigns. Letters to editor, Poster campaign.
Make Home Care and Long Term care priorities for next six months.
Be specific re: what we want. Widely publicize same demands. Public demands
to MPP's what we want. Watch 3P's MRI's and if colleagueal progress move
to other areas - long term and home care.

List of clear demands. Cross province hearings. Again get communities set
up so understand key issues. Release reports. Posters at events. Work
with unions. Publicity stunts for how inadequate care is.
Stable work force. Get rid of competitive bidding so have continuity.
Posters on critical care and implications of lowest bidder getting contract.
Work with local media to get investigative report on home care

Another - exposée work on companies Exposée on costs of profit taking , of
monitoring these contracts, administration costs and bidding costs and
general deterioriation in standards of care.

Look at P3's and MRI's. 8.3 billion dollars infrastructure plans. Money
problems. More debt than expected. How build hospitals without money.
Need to be ready for campaigns. Going to sue if don't get money for
hospitals. People dying in halls. Maybe some need to be repaired rather
than rebuilt. Maybe change provincial funding methods e.g accrual system -
Major fight needed to get funds from federal for infrastructure granting
structure.

Coalition needs structure across province to do that.

Why not open wards that were closed. In empty wards in Brampton. Took
beds out to
make it look better.

How address health care resourcing issues?

Push for a commission on Seniors Care?

What will happen in 15 years time.
Do we need more beds? Need new capital for replacement of deteriorating
hospitals and infrastructure. Restructuring recommendations of hospital
restructuring. Not clear that we need all the new hospitals. Napanee
hospital deficit only since amalgamated. Debt transferred down to smaller
hospital. Centralization has not worked well financially nor local
control. Too big for us. Need reexamination by people with expertise to
evaluate situation. Need at least some new hospitals and need to raise the
issue of financing them publicly.

Go round:

Pressure on province. Need to pressure Liberals. Loss of party status by
NDP real loss. Need to fight that.

Won't be a lot of voices from front line home care workers. New standards
employer, employee not being met nearly. People with life management
problems don't know how to handle their money, we have no way or time to
intervene. Need supportive living facilities. There are good models.
Workers in fear of jobs at risk raising these issues.

Proof that poaching is universal. Action against Clinic having stolen
staff from hospital. How keep it on agenda?

Picture on Poster of McGuinty saying close the MRI. (Put it back into
hospital)
Basket of services. Eradication of public funding a strategy of the
neo-liberals needing to be resisted. Getting out of as many services as
can. Done by budget cuts, cuts of personal support for frail elderly
people. People then have to pay privately.

Pressure to restore public democracy to boards. Law on book doesn't allow
for privatization of home care. Taking it to court may force new
legislation. Organizing catalyst.