Ontario Health Coalition fights back against expected cuts
SAULT STE. MARIE – Fear over the future of our health care system brought many in Sault Ste. Marie outside on Saturday.
In the third of four rallies planned throughout the province, the Ontario Health Coalition is fighting back against expected cuts on the horizon.
It was a loud and boisterous group that showed up to protest the expected upcoming Ontario Conservative health cuts, but the turnout was less than expected.
"I hoped for more for sure, but I think we have a good showing. I think it's enough to show some strength and I think we made a splash in the community," said Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition.
Roughly 150 people showed up, which is way less than the promoted 600, but organizers still believe a strong message was sent.
"We know that the pressure is working, the government is responding somewhat. Mostly to make it look like they're responding but they also… the cuts… they have delayed them," said Mehra.
Cyndi Boston-Cloutier shared her personal experience of dealing with a triple bypass open-heart surgery two years ago.
"Having difficulty getting aftercare when I was released, and released… what I thought was an unreasonable time, only two days after," she explained.
Boston-Cloutier has been a member of the local healthcare coalition for five years. She says the need for this organization in the community is greater now than ever before.
She says "the wording of the group doesn't really support everything that they accomplished. But they are advocates, they're voices for people who don't have them."
Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano was not present but earlier in the week he said the health care system needed a major overhaul.
"We are taking a system where the more money in the healthcare system was in administrative offices and bloated bureaucracy, and we're taking that money and putting it where it matters most… the front line and ensuring that we have more patient care," said Romano.
Those in attendance do not believe the provincial government is doing enough to follow through on its promise to eliminate hallway health care.