Kingston rallies for KGH - is Gerretsen listening?



    KINGSTON, ON, July 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Citizens took their concerns about
the future of Kingston General Hospital to MPP John Gerretsen's Kingston
office today.
    "This is a battle for health care democracy," said Louis Rodrigues,
President of CUPE 1974, which represents front-line health care workers at
KGH. "It's about whether communities are able to fend off cuts to services
mandated by the provincial government's Local Health Integration Networks
(LHINs)."
    Kingston's fight to protect services at KGH escalated last week when CEO
Joe de Mora was fired after refusing to make cuts in the face of insufficient
provincial funding.
    Local control over health services is increasingly threatened as the
province restructures services through its LHINs regime, Rodrigues warned.
    "De Mora's dismissal sends a clear message to the other 80 Ontario
hospitals running deficits: Keep quiet and cut services," Rodrigues said.
    Rodrigues noted that a former KGH board member, Susan Nobes Tindal, wrote
in this weekend's Kingston Whig-Standard that cutting administrative "fat"
can't be done without cutting jobs and diminishing front-line services. Nobes
Tindal called the LHIN report that led to De Mora's dismissal "unfair and
inconsistent".
    Community members are vowing to pressure Mr. Gerretsen to clearly state
what he is going to do to protect local hospital services in Kingston.
    "Today's rally is the first step," Rodrigues said. "The more LHINs put
hospitals under supervision because they refuse to cut services, the more
communities will fight back. We need John Gerretsen to tell us where he
stands."




For further information:

For further information: Louis Rodrigues, President, CUPE 1974, (613)
531-1319 (C); David Robbins, CUPE Communications, (613) 878-1431 (C)

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