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A plan by the Ottawa Hospital to hand over the operation of its lab services to a private company was the target of a protest and rally September 24.

Members of CUPE 1580 and 4000, who represent 3,000 hospital workers, made a presentation to the board of trustees, urging them to rescind the decision to privatize the services to Gamma-Dynacare.

This plan is a major blow to health care services in Ottawa and all of Eastern Ontario, argued Local 1580 president Tami MacDonald. It will result in poorer levels of care for patients and fewer resources for doctors. $1.5 million will be put in the pockets of Gamma-Dynacare shareholders in the form of profit, instead of providing health care services to the public.

Speaking to the rally, National President Judy Darcy said Canadians have made it clear they dont want American-style, privatized health care. Yet right under our noses the Ottawa Hospital has announced plans to hand over the operation of its lab services to a private company.

Under the plan, total costs to the taxpayer actually increase by $750,000.