TORONTO, April 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Across Ontario in more than one hundred hospitals and health care facilities, staff and patient advocates are staging a “Health Action Day” today, Tuesday, 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 Health Coalition plans two media conferences regarding “Health Action Day” Tuesday, April 23 as follows:

  • Live press conference: 1 p.m. Queen’s Park Media Studio, Main Legislative Building, Toronto
    • Speakers include: Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions; Vicki McKenna, President, Ontario Nurses’ Association; Noreen Rizvi, Director, Unifor Ontario Region; Smokey Thomas, President, OPSEU
  • Press conference by teleconference: 2 p.m. for cross-Ontario media
    Dial in: 1-888-892-3255 (media only)
    • Speakers include: Natalie Mehra, Executive Director, Ontario Health Coalition.

The Ford government has rammed a radical new health care restructuring law through the Legislature. It voted down amendments that would have protected local hospitals from closure and stopped privatization of health care services. The list of cuts, privatization plans, restructuring, centralization and mergers in health care is growing at an alarming rate. Health care staff, patients and advocates are building a major fightback.

The Health Coalition is mobilizing for a massive Health Care rally outside the Ontario Legislature next week on Tuesday, April 30 at noon. The rally is expected to draw thousands concerned about OHIP cuts, hospital cuts, privatization, mergers and centralization of health care services.

For more information: Natalie Mehra, executive director (416) 441-2502 (office); (416) 230-6402 (cellular).