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Health workers and concerned community members take on the Ministry of Health

Published on January 23, 2013 under Media Release
Health workers and concerned community members take on the Ministry of Health

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Check out a video from the action today: http://youtu.be/qIX9bTna_Qg

Check out photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.400899969996877.98271.11094233…

Dear supporters and allies,

We are energized today as, in spite of sub-zero temperatures, 60 frontline workers and community members joined Health for All outside the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as we demanded that the Ontario government step up to fill the gap left by federal cuts to refugee health care. A petition with over 1000 of your signatures was delivered with a shrouded body on a stretcher to symbolize the inevitable loss to life should the Ontario government fail to act. Our voices were loud and clear: the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews, has a responsibility to move beyond words, and take concrete steps to provide healthcare for all people in Ontario.

Frontline workers, health care practitioners and concerned community members came together to challenge power today which is testament to the urgency of this issue. The fact that Deb Matthews met with us demonstrates the power of collective action. Although Minister Matthews agreed to a meeting with representatives of Health for All, no concrete commitments were made to fill the gap. This is despite her previous statement condemning the cuts saying, “In effect, this policy change will create a class system for healthcare in Canada.” It is clear that while the Minister may have heard us outside today, her government is not ready to commit to listening to the experiences of healthcare workers and community members on the ground.

In the wake of federal cuts to refugee health, the province of Quebec indicated it would provide healthcare coverage for refugees. The province of Manitoba has said they would do the same and send the bill to the federal government. Saskatchewan has called for a review of the cuts and provided chemotherapy for a dying man. To date however, there has been no movement on the part of the Ontario government to concretely address these cuts.

This is a call for ongoing mobilization to keep this issue at the forefront as the provincial Liberal leader is elected this weekend, and moving forward in the coming months. Thank you all for coming out today. This is what people power feels like. Lets remember this and lets take this energy with us moving forward in making sure that Ontario steps up and fills the refugee health care gap.

Get in touch with Health for All as we will continue to organize against these cuts. Join our mailing list or contact us directly at healthforalltoronto@gmail.com.

In solidarity,
Health for All
health4all.ca
www.facebook.com/healthforalltoronto
@HealthForAllTO

Media from today’s action:
OPSEU Health care Blog http://diablogue.org/2013/01/23/refugee-health-medical-students-freeze-o…
Rabble.ca http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/johnbon/2013/01/ontario-must-fill-gap-le…

Here Is What Else You Can Do!

1) Let’s continue to pressure the Minister of Health Deb Matthews!
*Demand Ontario Step Up to Fill the IFH Gap!
*Tweet: @Deb_Matthews
*Email: dmatthews.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
cc: healthforalltoronto@gmail.com
*Call: (519) 432-7339

2) Social Media Campaign – Target the Liberal Leadership Candidates!
*During the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention this weekend (Jan 25-27), we also ask that you support us in phoning, emailing, and tweeting the candidates, asking them to make statements on this issue.

* Click here for an easy online form that will email all the candidates for you.
*For tweeting, use the #FilltheIFHGap hashtag.
*For contact information for the candidates, check here: http://health4all.ca/FillTheIFHGap.

3) Contact Your MPPs!
* Check out this webpage to locate your MPP: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_current.do?locale=en

4) Organize your own Action
* Organize your own actions with your friends, colleagues and family. Get creative and let us know!

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