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October 23, 2000
Kingston Joins Province-Wide Day Of Action On Health Care

Kingston – Cuts, closures, confusion and out-of-pocket costs are some of the concerns to be highlighted at a rally from 1 pm to 2 pm at the Hotel Dieu Hospital(Sydenham Street entrance).  Local speakers will include, Christine McMillan, Kingston Council on Aging, Susan Balog, President of the VON nurses union, Dinah Cotter, a user of health care, Charlie Stock, co-chair of the Kingston Health Coalition and Gavin Anderson, Kingston Spokesperson for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The event organized by the Kingston Health Coalition is part of the Ontario Health Coalition’s province-wide Day of Action on Health Care.  Events are taking place in communities across the province from Thunder Bay to Windsor to Cornwall.  Participants are demanding that governments spend the partially restored federal transfer payment on public health care – not on privatization and tax cuts.

“ In million –dollar advertising campaigns the Tories counted money they spent on privatization, cuts, closures and staff layoffs to tell us that they were spending more than ever on health care” stated Ross Sutherland Co-Chair, Kingston Health Coalition.  “It’s time that they make a serious and true investment in public health care”

In the meeting last month of the First Ministers, the provincial and federal governments came to an agreement on a partially restored transfer payment.  Far from fulfilling Federal Liberal campaign promises from 1997 to create national home care and pharmacare systems, the new deal provides for no new programs or national standards and a very weak system of accountability.  In Ontario unprecedented privatization, burgeoning out –of-pocket costs, overstretched services and confusion have been the outcomes of provincial health restructuring policy to date.  After years of painful cuts to health, social and education programs, Ontarians are receiving tax rebate cheques this month from the provincial government – rebates that are indexed to favour the wealthy.  The province-wide Day of Action aims to hold our elected officials to account for these policy decisions.  Participants are looking for a commitment from politicians that the partially restored transfer payment will be spent on our public medicare system.

 

For Further Information  - Ross Sutherland Co-Chair