Citizen-run referendum being held on province’s move to for-profit hospitals, clinics
Oakville residents not happy with the provincial government’s move to provide public hospital services at for-profit hospitals and clinics can have their say this weekend.
The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), a group of Ontarians dedicated to protecting single-tier public health care for Canadians, is holding a citizen-run referendum vote across the province Friday (May 26) and Saturday (May 27).
Oakville residents can submit their vote at local voting stations located at the Unifor Local 707 Union Hall (475 North Service Rd. E.), Film.ca (171 Speers Rd.) and the Upper Oakville Shopping Centre (1011 Upper Middle Rd. E).
In mid-January, Premier Doug Ford announced plans to take thousands of surgeries & diagnostic tests out of local public hospitals and privatize them to for-profit hospitals and clinics.
The OHC believes this would be devastating to community hospitals, which are currently desperately short-staffed.
The move, they say, will take vital nurses, health professionals, doctors, and the funding for them, away from public hospitals and transfer them to for-profit clinics and hospitals, leaving community hospitals with fewer staff, fewer services and fewer resources.
“Without question, this is the privatization of the core services of our local public hospitals,” the OHC said on its website.
The group says there is another option. Community hospital in Ontario have operating rooms that are closed down in evenings, on weekends, for weeks or months each year or even permanently.
They have the operating rooms, but don’t have the funding and support to staff them.
“Ontario is dead last in Canada in funding our public hospitals,” the group said. “We have the lowest funding of any province in the country and the fewest nurses per patient anywhere in Canada.
“Even if our government funded our hospitals to the average of the rest of Canada, we would clear the backlogs and wait lists for surgeries and diagnostic tests in our local public hospitals.”
The citizen-led community opinion vote will be held in community voting stations, at tables staffed by volunteers outside — or if appropriate inside — local businesses, coffee shops, busy stores, service clubs, places of worship and legions.
“Please make your opinion heard,” said the group.
To vote, residents must be 16 years of age or older, be a resident of Ontario. You can only vote once.
Voting is also available online here.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising