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The Hospital Employees’ Union has again got the scoop on the Campbell government’s plans to privatize health care in British Columbia, catching the government off guard by releasing leaked details outlining the specific cuts, closures and privatization planned for Vancouver.

HEU members from across the province gathered outside a Vancouver hotel in the early morning hours April 23 to demonstrate their opposition to a series of cuts that were to be announced at a day-long media briefing.

Among the leaked plans were closures of hospitals and the introduction of private surgical units, the closure of acute care, psychiatric and surgical beds and significant staff cuts. The implications of these cuts include longer waitlists, reduced clinical services and cutbacks in cleaning and other services that are key to the integrity of the health care system.

HEU spokesperson Chris Allnutt called the announcement “a shocking betrayal of Premier Campbell’s commitment and promise in the election to put patients first.”

For more information on the cuts and the reaction, visit heu.org.