Proposed cuts to healthcare funding will result in more downloaded costs to municipalities: Ontario Health Coalition

city_scope_logo-cmykPlanned provincial cuts and the closure of public healthcare services will lead to the Doug Ford government offloading more costs associated with these services to every municipality in the province.
That is the message Melissa Holden will deliver in a deputation to city council on Tuesday (Nov. 12).
Holden is a member of the Ontario Health Coalition in London whose mandate “is to protect and improve our public healthcare system for all.”
In addition, the organization advocates “to protect services as public and non-profit and to protect local accessible service on the principles that underlie our public healthcare system . . . principles of compassion and equity.”
Holden warns rural communities already suffering from a shortage of services will be particularly hard hit “as dispatch services and the governance of ambulance services would move further away.”

Continue reading

Public Interest Groups Deeply Concerned About Undemocratic Process, Drummond Commission & Public Service Cuts


Toronto – The McGuinty government is planning sweeping public service cuts and restructuring without public input and proper democratic processes, public interest groups revealed in a press conference this morning at Queen’s Park. The groups are concerned about the Drummond Commission, which was created by the McGuinty government to make recommendations to cut public services and budgets.

Don Drummond, a well-heeled member of the Toronto elite, has strong links to private health care interests and lobby groups. He has adopted a highly political role, conducting rounds of media interviews to sell his proposals even before the Ontario Legislature has had an opportunity to receive his report. At the same time, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister Deb Matthews are launching major policy changes through speeches to exclusive executive and corporate audiences.

The McGuinty government, which has been elected with a minority, failed to forge an agreement with opposition parties to set up the Standing Committees of the Legislature during the Fall Session. As such, there is no Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and no Pre-Budget Hearings. In a minority government, the ruling party does not hold a majority on the standing committees. These committees have real powers to amend legislation and hold public hearings.

The coalition and public interest groups argue that the process is manipulative and inappropriate.

“Drummond is an extremely wealthy retired bank executive and does not in any way represent the values and needs of regular Ontarians. He selected a very narrow elite of hospital executives and pro-privatization lobbyists to consult while he was writing his report. When we and a few other groups met with him in early December – at our request – the report was already written,” noted Natalie Mehra, coalition director. “Despite no mention of these plans during the election only a few months ago, the McGuinty government has forged a mandate for the Drummond Commission that is extraordinarily biased towards privatization. It has virtually no public interest principles to protect the fairness and equity of Ontarians’ public services.”
Continue reading

New site allows Ontarians to define health care issues

The Ontario Health Coalition is using social media to allow Ontarians to define their own health care issues in the coming provincial election.

The new “pledge” web site has been up for less than a day and already comments are flooding in on the three-phase on-line project.

Phase 1 of the project invites Ontarians to visit and share what they believe to be the key health care issues and experiences. Phase 1 takes place through the month of June.

Phase 2 invites Ontarians to return and vote for their priorities from a summary list generated from Phase 1. This will take place in July and August.

Phase 3 the Coalition will ask Ontarians to take a pledge to help make these priorities key health care election issues. Candidates will be able to see how many people in each electoral riding have taken the pledge. If thousands of Ontarians join in, political parties will be compelled to make clear commitments on these issues. This last phase takes place in late August and early September.

“Lip service to health care is not enough,” says Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “Ontarians need clear commitments on the key issues that matter in our communities.”

Make your priorities known now.

Still waiting – Ontario Health Coalition releases home care report

From opseudiablogue | April 4, 2011

Home care has to be the most tiered health care service in Ontario. Consider that many front line care providers are not on salary, but operating as independent contractors to agencies. The agencies in turn are contracted by the Community Care Access Centres. The Community Care Access Centres sign accountability agreements with the Local Health Integration Networks, which in turn report to the Ministry of Health.

That’s a lot of layers of bureaucracy to facilitate a home care visit.

The Ontario Health Coalition released a new home care report April 4th that suggests about 30 per cent of home care costs are administrative. That may be very conservative.
Continue reading

Ontario Health Coalition Applauds Ombudsman’s Report on LHIN Spin

Health Coalition Applauds Ombudsman’s Report on LHIN Spin: Demands McGuinty Stop Delaying the LHINs Review, Investigate Poor LHIN Decisions to Cut Hospital Care for Thousands of Residents

TORONTO, Aug. 10 /CNW/ – The Ontario Health Coalition applauds Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin’s report, “The LHIN Spin”. But the Coalition is deeply concerned that the McGuinty government has evaded its legislative requirement to conduct a full review of its Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and the legislation that governs them and is continuing a major round of health system cuts and restructuring while shutting out virtually all public advocates that have expressed concerns or criticized their reforms. Ironically, though the Ombudsman gave credit to the Ministry of Health for belatedly setting proposed standards for LHINs’ public consultation, the Ministry has not consulted with public advocates who have experience trying to work with the LHINs regarding these standards.

Ombudsman Andre Marin reported that the McGuinty government-appointed LHINs have rendered community engagement “meaningless”. He stated that LHIN board members counted conversations on golf courses and in grocery stores as public consultations. He noted that they relied on presentations of the provider organizations to make decisions affecting access to health care for tens of thousands of residents. He was particularly critical of the LHINs for adopting illegal by-laws to meet behind closed doors.
Continue reading

Realigning Ontario’s Approach to Small and Rural Hospitals to Serve Public Values

A report released Monday by the Ontario Health Coalition appeals for equity and improved access to hospital services in rural Ontario.

The 92-page document is based on input received from more than 1,150 people who attended 12 hearings in regions across Ontario in March.

The report was written and submitted to the Ontario Health Coalition by a non-partisan panel including doctors, nurses, health professional, representatives of each region of Ontario, and representatives active in each political party.

Read the executive summary release17may2010.

Elgin county Warden adds voice to those calling for moratorium on hospital cuts and closures

The Ontario Health Coalition; Friends of Four Counties Hospital; Mayor of West Elgin and Warden of Elgin-County, Graham Warwick;and former city councilor of Newbury, Monte McNaughton criticized the McGuinty government’s plans for its Rural and Northern Health Panel for lack of public consultations. Noting that many devastating cuts and closures are already underway, the group called for a moratorium pending proper public consultations and a review of the current cuts.

The government announced the Panel in response to a major protest against hospital cuts and closures, involving thousands of residents from small and rural communities in front of the Ontario Legislature last April. However, when it finally released the Terms of Reference for the Health Minister’s Panel on Rural and Northern Care, there is not a single mention of hospitals. In addition, there are no plans for public consultations until after the panel completes its work this winter; too late for many of the small and rural hospital cuts and closures now underway.
Full story