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Ontario health unions reject privatization of medical services

This morning representatives from Ontario Hospitals, nursing and public workers unions joined together to denounce what they called the Doug Ford government's health care privatization plans and to call on the premier to stand up for public health.

Tomorrow the prime minister will hold a long-awaited meeting with provincial and territorial premiers to discuss health care funding in Canada, and unions have joined NDP leader Jagmeet Sighn in calling on Trudeau to make federal health care funding conditional on provinces investing in the public system.

Commercialization of surgeries and diagnostic services seems to be a priority of Doug Ford's government and unfortunately this is happening with the support of the Trudeau government. Privatization is a path from which there is no turning back, if Ford had the support of the people of Ontario he would have announced his plans in the summer, but he is doing it now because he fears protests. The people of Ontario are committed to standing up for public health care and we will continue that fight until the next election and beyond. The Trudeau government is at a crossroads and has to take a stand on the issue of privatization of health care and we call on it today: stand up for not-for-profit health care and sharply condition federal health care funds for use in the public system.

We are at a critical time for health care in Ontario and Canada, and today we have stood up, along with Ontario's other health care unions, to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to keep Canada's health care system public. As the prime minister prepares to meet with premiers tomorrow to discuss health care funding, we call on Trudeau to demand that federal health care funds be invested in public health care, not private for-profit institutions.

Trudeau is expected to arrive at the meeting with the premiers tomorrow with a detailed two-hour presentation of what the federal government is ready to bring to the table, although he has already signaled that he does not expect to walk away with signed agreements.

Overall, the meeting between the federal, provincial and territorial governments will focus on discussing long-term funding agreements that will generate billions of additional dollars in health care systems across the country in exchange for better care.

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