Thunder Bay selected for homecare reform hearings: Eminent panelists to hear from local stakeholders

    TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - Two well-respected health care policy experts
and the former mayor of Ottawa will be in Thunder Bay June 16 to hear from
patients, family members, seniors and advocacy groups on homecare reform in
Ontario. Patricia Baranek, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health
Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto; Marion Dewar,
a public health nurse by profession and a former mayor of Ottawa; and
Carol Kushner, a health policy analyst and author will form an expert panel
that will hear from stakeholders to collect ideas about reforming Ontario's
homecare system. The panelists will use this input to write a report to be
submitted to the provincial government.
    The McGuinty government implemented a province-wide moratorium on
tendering homecare contracts this past January following massive public outcry
over eliminating the non-profit Victorian Order of Nurses and St. Joseph's
from the bidding process in Hamilton. Thousands protested to signal a deep
dissatisfaction with the controversial "competitive bidding" system and the
potential loss of long-standing community agencies. This is the second
moratorium imposed by the McGuinty government.
    "Our goal is to provide the whole range of stakeholders the opportunity
to offer their input and to come up with some better homecare reforms
options," said Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health coalition. "A
very wide range of groups and people concerned about homecare have responded
to the call for submissions in each town."
    "Presentations are scheduled from patients' families to policy experts,
homecare agencies to careworkers, and we are inviting the public to come out
and watch the hearings," noted Cathy Carroll, Secretary-Treasurer of Service
Employees' Union Local 1 Canada. "The independent panelists will create a very
credible report on homecare reforms and we are looking forward to hearing the

                 WHEN:     Monday, June 16

                 TIME:     3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

                 WHERE:    Valhalla Inn, 1 Valhalla Inn Road
                           THUNDER BAY

    The hearings are coordinated by the Ontario Health Coalition, sponsored
by SEIU Local 1 Canada and endorsed by: Canadian Pensioners Concerned,
Toronto, Sarnia, Peterborough, Ottawa and Thunder Bay Health Coalitions, Older
Women's Network, CareWatch-Toronto, Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens'
Organizations, Alliance of Seniors/Older Canadians Network, Ontario Federation
of Union Retirees, Congress of Union Retirees Canada, SOAR, and ARM Chapter

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Mehra at (416) 441-2502

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Ontario Health Coalition

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