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The Ontario Council of Health Unions, working with the Council of Canadians and the Ontario Health Coalition, is kicking off a 22-city tour to spread the word that privatization kills.

Starting in Sioux Lookout on September 30 and ending in Toronto on December 10, the tour will feature Maude Barlow from the Council of Canadians, a health care expert from McMaster and CUPE leaders and coalition activists.

“We oppose for-profit health care because it costs more, it’s inefficient and it’s dangerous,” says Barlow. “We support public health care – like most Canadians – because we see health care as a human right and not a commodity to be bought and sold.”

Dr. P. J. Devereaux, co-author of a McMaster study on for-profit health care says, “Our study suggests that if all Canadian hospitals were converted to private, for-profit hospitals, it would result in 2,200 extra deaths a year.”

“This is a crucial time in Ontario, as new for-profit hospitals are underway in Brampton and Ottawa,” says OCHU president Michael Hurley. “Under the Eves government, the privatization of our health care system is expanding.”

Just last week, the Royal Ottawa Hospital announced a short list of corporate groups vying to own, operate and maintain its new facility.

National President Judy Darcy condemned the move and called on federal health minister Anne McLellan to stop the sell off.

“Turning to the corporate world for a ‘partnership’ in health care is a worse mistake than letting Enron get its hands on electricity,” said Darcy. “It’s a rotten solution. Privatization doesn’t make financial sense. And, far worse, privatized care doesn’t just hurt taxpayers. Privatization kills. It’s time McLellan got serious about stopping the spread of this deadly problem.”

For a complete listing of tour dates visit cupe.ca.