Rally at Grace Hospital calls on province to let the hospital's board
continue to deliver services at Church Street site

TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - The Ontario government should allow the board of the Toronto Grace to continue to manage the hospital at its current location and the request for proposal, which would effectively cannibalize the Grace's beds and services, should be cancelled, the union representing staff at the hospital requested today.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 929 President Gary Barrett, who represents unionized employees at the Grace, said "for 101 years this hospital has provided state of the art, loving care to the Toronto community. The Salvation Army's withdrawal from the hospital represents the turning of a page, not the closure of the book. There is absolutely no reason that the board of directors of the hospital cannot continue to manage this hospital. The Grace does not have a deficit. It has significant cash reserves. We are asking the Minister to let us continue to offer our services at our current location."

Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions stated "Staff are alarmed that the Ministry has issued a request for proposal for the Grace's beds and services. Requests for proposal have not been used for hospital clinical services. Hospital services are not commodities. Ironically, the most likely Toronto hospitals to take over have large deficits and will absorb and cannibalize the Grace's services. The healthcare services will be lost and all Toronto will have to show for this will be a condo tower at Church and Bloor."

The Harris government also moved to close the Grace hospital in the 1990's.

A rally to 'Save the Grace' is planned for noon on Monday February 1 at the Toronto Grace Hospital, 650 Church Street, main doors.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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