Media Availability - Re. Bus of North Muskoka Residents At Ontario
Legislature to Deliver 6,700 Petitions Against Local Hospital Closure;

    
    call on McGuinty government to stop ducking responsibility for
    devastating hospital cuts
    

TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ -

What:

A bus filled with residents from the communities of Burk's Falls, Magnetawan and Sundridge, Ontario - small communities that expand exponentially when thousands of Torontonians and others from Southern Ontario head up to summer cottages - will be arriving at Queen's Park tomorrow morning to deliver 6,700 signatures on petitions to save their local hospital from closure.

In the mid-1990s, the community of Burk's Falls was given a memorandum of understanding from the provincial government promising to maintain a level of health services in their local hospital, including their local urgent care centre. In June, without warning, the urgent care centre was closed. All inpatient beds are slated to be closed by the end of this year. These drastic cuts to local hospital services come as a result of a budget shortfall and provincial government requirements that hospitals eliminate their deficits.

The Ministry of Health has repeatedly attempted to duck responsibility, pointing to the funding level it gives the hospital. However, the community and the health coalition believe that the Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring that local hospitals stay open and cannot hide behind the LHINs or hospitals to avoid this responsibility. The groups are asking the province to intervene in the local situation and live up to the written promise from the government of Ontario to the community to maintain these services.

    
    When:  10:00 am, Thursday October 22, 2009

    Where: Meet in front of Front Steps of Queen's Park Legislative Building,
           Toronto

    Who:   Kay Tod, Burk's Falls Save Our Hospital Committee
           Barbara Berry, Muskoka Health Coalition
           Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition
    

SOURCE Ontario Health Coalition

For further information: For further information: Natalie Mehra, (416) 441-2502 or (416) 230-6402 (cell)

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Ontario Health Coalition

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