Momentum growing to keep hospital's outpatient physiotherapy service open

TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - A growing number of community groups and health advocacy organizations are calling on Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) to keep its outpatient physiotherapy service open to the public. This coalition is inviting residents to a town hall meeting on March 9 to work with local MPPs, medical professionals, patients and community leaders to help keep this vital community health service open.

"Many people are starting to realize what kind of impact this decision will have on the residents of East York," said Sharleen Stewart, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada. "Many people simply don't have the money to pay for their own physiotherapy service, which is why TEGH's outpatient physiotherapy service is so important."

Guest speakers at the town hall include:

    -   Carol McDowell, RPN Division Vice-President, SEIU Local 1 Canada
    -   Damian Wyard, SEIU Chief Steward, TEGH, physiotherapist
    -   Michael Prue, MPP, Beaches East-York
    -   Neethan Shan, Executive Director, CASSA
    -   Mark Beadle, President, Ontario Physiotherapy Association
    -   Maria Meszaros-Nefsky, TEGH physiotherapy patient
    -   Salza Khakoo, TEGH physiotherapy patient

The town hall meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 9 at 6:30 pm at the S. Walter Stewart Library on 170 Memorial Park Ave. in Toronto.

"The OPA is very concerned when decisions such as this are made, particularly when they are often made or justified on a false premise," said Mark Beadle, president of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. "That false premise is that patients displaced from the hospital clinic can obtain physiotherapy somewhere else. In most cases, they can't get publicly-funded physiotherapy. The only option is the privately funded system, but most can't afford to pay for the treatment they require."

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada represents more than 46,000 health care and community services workers in Ontario. SEIU members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes and community services throughout the province.

SOURCE SEIU Healthcare

For further information: For further information: Greg Dwulit at (416) 526-5999, or visit SEIU's website at

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