Health Coalition announces major campaign in response to Hospital Supervisor's refusal to compromise



    MIDLAND, ON, Aug. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - No matter how Dr. Kevin Smith -
provincially appointed supervisor for Huronia District Hospital - wants to
dress it up, he is still recommending the elimination of the voting rights of
2400 community members and the 100 year history of democratic hospital
governance, said the Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition in response to
Smith's failure to compromise on his proposal for an appointed board.
    "This is not a compromise. It is window dressing on his original
proposal. The addition of community advisors is not an acceptable alternative
to a democratically-elected board. The issue is that the people of this
community have a right to become members of our local hospital and vote on
their representation in running the hospital. Dr. Smith has a personal belief
that we are not capable of selecting skilled individuals to run the hospital.
We find this insulting and unacceptable," said Vern Edwards, co-chair of the
Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition.
    "We are taking this very seriously. It would be indefensible for the
McGuinty government to wipe out democratic voting rights when all members of
the government owe their positions to the democratic process," said Natalie
Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition. "We will be increasing
pressure on the McGuinty government to reject the recommendation eliminating
2400 community members and the election of hospital board members. We are
discussing the potential for another town hall meeting and are following up on
our legal options."
    "We are launching a major campaign. This will include a petition blitz
day on Saturday, Aug. 30, an advertising campaign and organizing buses to
protest at Queen's Park. The local coalition is also placing its petitions in
locations throughout the community," said Deb Mink, co-chair of the Southern
Georgian Bay Health Coalition.
    The Southern Georgian Bay Health Coalition is organizing locally for the
province-wide protest to protect public health care. The protest will take
place Saturday, Sept. 27. Many communities have concerns with what is
happening to our hospitals. We will be organizing a local event then
travelling to Toronto to join others in the area to take our concerns to
Queens' Park.
    For the petition blitz day, the local coalition and its supporters will
be meeting in front of the Galaxy Theatre at Mountainview Mall at 10 am this
Saturday.

    Petitions are available at :
    Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop's Midland constituency office
    Main Street Computers, Penetanguishene
    Rye Cafe, 292 King St., Midland
    Gianetto's, King St., Midland
    Duffy's Riverside Shell, Hwy 12, Waubaushene
    Pine Street Country Market, Waubaushene




For further information:

For further information: Vern Edwards, (705) 538-0833; Deb Mink, (705)
527-3828; Natalie Mehra, (416) 441-2502

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Ontario Health Coalition

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