Toronto selected for homecare reform hearings: eminent panelists to hear from local stakeholders

    TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ - Two well-respected health policy experts and the
former mayor of Ottawa will be in Toronto Monday, June 9 to hear from
patients, family members, seniors and advocacy groups on homecare reforms 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, a former mayor of Ottawa and Member of
Parliament; 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 eliminated 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 9

                            TIME:  10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

                            WHERE: Courtyard by Marriott Hotel,
                                   475 Yonge Street

    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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