KINGSTON, Ont. – Citizens took their concerns about the future of Kingston General Hospital to MPP John Gerretsen’s Kingston office today.
“This is a battle for health care democracy,” said Louis Rodrigues, President of CUPE 1974, which represents front-line health care workers at KGH. “It’s about whether communities are able to fend off cuts to services mandated by the provincial government’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).”
Kingston’s fight to protect services at KGH escalated last week when CEO Joe de Mora was fired after refusing to make cuts in the face of insufficient provincial funding.
Local control over health services is increasingly threatened as the province restructures services through its LHINs regime, Rodrigues warned.
“De Mora’s dismissal sends a clear message to the other 80 Ontario hospitals running deficits: Keep quiet and cut services,” Rodrigues said.
Rodrigues noted that a former KGH board member, Susan Nobes Tindal, wrote in this weekend’s Kingston Whig-Standard that cutting administrative “fat” can’t be done without cutting jobs and diminishing front-line services. Nobes Tindal called the LHIN report that led to De Mora’s dismissal “unfair and inconsistent”.
Community members are vowing to pressure Mr. Gerretsen to clearly state what he is going to do to protect local hospital services in Kingston.
“Today’s rally is the first step,” Rodrigues said. “The more LHINs put hospitals under supervision because they refuse to cut services, the more communities will fight back. We need John Gerretsen to tell us where he stands.”
For more information, contact:
Louis Rodrigues, President, CUPE 1974: 613-531-1319 (C)
David Robbins, CUPE Communications: 613-878-1431 (C)