April 10, 2003
KINGSTON HEALTH COALITION
OUTRAGED AT CLOSURE OF THE VON:
DEMANDS THAT THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE THE RESOURCES NEEDED TO KEEP OUR LOCAL NON-PROFIT HOME CARE PROVIDER OPEN
In letter sent today to Health Minister Tony Clement the Kingston Health Coalition expressed their outrage at the closure of the local VON. They site the government’s policy of competitive bidding, contracting out and under funding in home care as directly responsible for this tragedy. It is devastating to patients and nurses in our community health care system. The closure of the Kingston VON is just the latest. In at least 17 communities across Ontario non-profit home care provision has been decimated by the conscious policy of the government to turn home care over to for-profit private corporations.
The key points that the Coalition made to Minister Clement are:
“It is as real shame”, said Ross Sutherland land, Chair of the Kingston Health Coalition. “We will move form providing home care by the hour to providing piece work home care, where speed and profit are the driving forces, rather than quality of care. We will be losing an agency that is controlled by a board of local citizens, to agencies controlled by for-profit corporations from out of town. We will be elevating the shortage of home care nurses to a crisis, and all because the government wants to provide home care on the cheap while helping for-profit corporation s make a good profit”.
The coalition also pointed out in their letter that there is a paradox in Ontario home care. One the one hand funding has gone up; on the other hand services and wages have gone down. This apparent contradiction, the Coalition says, can be explained by the fact that the extra money has gone into administration to run a dysfunctional system, duplication and private profit taking.
The Coalition called on the government to immediately step in and provide the need resources to keep the VON open.
For further information contact:
Ross Sutherland – 374-5211.