More than 150,000 hospital and health care staff and patient advocates join in Action Day

They are warning against health care privatization

These protestors outside Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker's Owen Sound office Monday were upset about health care changes and funding. From left, Pam Lobsinger, president of the Ontario Nurses Association bargaining unit at Grey Bruce Health Services, Linda Dow-Sitch, vice-co-ordinator Local 4, ONA, and Julia Lobsinger, a retired registered nurse and former ONA leader locally and a regional representative on ONA's provincial board. (Scott Dunn/The Sun Times)

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Across Ontario in more than one hundred hospitals and health care facilities, staff and patient advocates staged a Health Action Day April 23. In an unprecedented show of unity, more than 150,000 health professionals and workers and tens of thousands of patient advocates will wear a sticker that says “Stop Health Privatization” and will distribute leaflets warning about the Ford government’s radical health care restructuring plans. The Ford government has given itself unprecedented powers to order the privatization of virtually all health care services and leaked documents show that plans are underway to begin privatization of a range of health care services. The Coalition has vowed to fight to protect local health care services from cuts, privatization, and mergers.

The Ford government has rammed a radical health restructuring law through the Legislature in an unprecedented undemocratic process, refusing to hear from thousands who applied for hearings and sent in submissions. All amendments prohibiting privatization were voted down by the Conservatives. The new law gives the Minister of Health and the government’s appointees in the new “Super Agency” the ability to force privatization of services as well as to merge, transfer services from town to town and from provider to provider, and close down services including public hospitals, long-term care, home care, community care, mental health, primary care, palliative care, cancer care, eHealth, air ambulance, laboratories and others.