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Thousands march on Queen's Park against health care privatization

Province allowing privatized health care at expense of hospitals, Ontario Health Coalition says

CBC News · Posted: May 30, 2024 10:09 PM EDT | Last Updated: May 30

Thousands of people march on University Avenue in Toronto on Thursday as part of a protest against the privatization of health care in Ontario. (David Millan/CBC)

About 5,000 people marched and rallied in Toronto on Thursday to call for end to what they say is the privatization of health care by the Doug Ford government.

Protesters converged at Nathan Phillips Square for a rally, then marched to Queen's Park, where they held a demonstration on the lawn of the Ontario legislature. The protesters included community members, health-care advocates and frontline workers.

The Ontario Health Coalition, an umbrella group that organized the march and rally, says it opposes hospital closures and provincial government plans to expand the number of surgeries and health-care services that private and for-profit medical clinics can provide.

Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, said the government is not properly funding health care in Ontario.

"It's never been so bad. The health care system has being really driven into the ground," she said.

"Now it's just devastating. We're seeing whole hospitals closing down, at risk of closing down. We're seeing literally millions of people can't get a family doctor and they're bringing in for-profit primary care to replace it where people have to pay," she said.

The coalition accuses the Ford government of allowing privatized health care at the expense of hospitals. It says the province is giving hundreds of millions in public dollars to for-profit corporations to privatize what have been, up until now, public services. At the same time, the coalition says local public hospitals are losing their emergency departments and a number are under threat of closure.


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