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St. Johns The provincial Liberal government is planning a second-class health care system for Western Newfoundland says the leader of Canadas largest union.

How can they close hospital beds, build a hospital without a kitchen and leak plans to reduce staff, yet claim this will make health care more efficient? asks Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. This is insanity.

Darcy is in St. Johns tomorrow to present a petition from the citizens of Stephenville asking that the government reverse its plans to eliminate the kitchen from the communitys new hospital. The petition contains almost 11,000 signatures.

The people in the Western region are not buying this bilk, says Darcy. They are not so gullible as to believe that the Western Health Care Corporations action plan will do anything other than further decimate health care. They know the real reason it has been suppressed is to prevent the decimation of the Liberal party itself.

Health care in this province has been mismanaged to the point they now cant even manage the release of their own plans.

Darcy says the premier should not be allowed to play with peoples lives.

We challenge the premier to release the Western Health Care Corporations plan and come clean on this issue. Were saying stop the cuts, stop the games, stop playing with peoples lives, she says.

Darcy will hold a press conference tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. in the Marconi Suite at the Hotel Newfoundland. Acting Premier Beaton Tulk has refused to meet with CUPE to accept the Stephenville hospital petition, so it will be given to the opposition NDP to present in the House.

CUPE represents 485,000 women and men who work in health care, education, municipalities, universities, social services and transportation, including 5,500 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information please contact Wayne Lucas at the Hotel Newfoundland 726-4980 or Communications Rep Gail McNeil at (902) 471-8923 (cell).

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