Provincial Election Discussion Should be About Rebuilding Public Hospitals & Long-Term Care Not “Efficiencies” or “Lean” or Code Words for Cuts: Health Coalition Calls for Concrete Commitments to Redress the Crisis in Access to Care

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TORONTO, May 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After touring Ontario in recent weeks, Health Coalition spokeswoman Natalie Mehra returned to Toronto this morning at a press conference outside the Emergency Department at Mount Sinai Hospital to talk about the crisis in access to health care. Noting that the Coalition’s mandate is to protect public health care in the public interest, she said that the group has chosen its words carefully and has not used the word “crisis” since the 1990s until recently when the overcrowding situation in Ontario’s hospitals truly reached crisis proportions.

The coalition released its platform for the election in Toronto this morning. Called “Time to Rebuild” the coalition has highlighted two key “asks” for all political parties leading into June 7’s provincial election to fix the crisis:

The coalition will measure each of the parties’ commitments throughout the election campaign against these priority “asks”. In addition, there are recommendations for home care reform; support for community health centres that promote equity in access to needed care and primary care reform; a plan to build new hospitals publicly, reform Infrastructure Ontario and save billions that are currently wasted on P3 privatization; streamlining will rid Ontarians of top-heavy administration and get money more directly to care; democratization of our public hospitals; a roll-back and re-integration of privatized outpatient services and labs, and other public interest reforms.

Health care is polling at the top of the public agenda this election and the Health Coalition is working to ensure that the political parties make commitments that will effect real policy change. “We are here among world-class hospitals in Ontario that simply cannot provide even a safe level of care because of decades of downsizing,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director. “The discussion has to change. This is not a time to be talking about “lean” or “efficiencies” or “transformation” or any other code words for cuts and privatization. All the political parties to make real commitments to fix the crisis that we are seeing in our hospitals and in access to seniors’ care in nursing homes. That means a multi-year commitment to significantly improved funding and restoration of services. Its time now to rebuild.”

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Globe Newswire: 15:49 GMT Wednesday 16th May 2018

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