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Weakened Ontario home care system put at risk if contract bidding resumes

CUPE and Ontario Health Coalition warn against bringing back twice-suspended system of corporate competition for home care contracts.

Michael Hurley, CUPE Ontario Vice-President, at a Sudbury hospital rally in 2005.SUDBURY, ON – Ontario's home care system, already damaged by the McGuinty government's continuation of Mike Harris' contracting out policy, may be only days away from further harm if the province lifts its ban on competitive bidding. Service contracts expired March 31, and the government has not indicated it will restore the ban, union officials, health care experts and home care workers warned at a Sudbury news conference today.

"Mike Harris did much to hurt our home care system and the Liberals not only allowed that to continue, but now appear set to make things even worse by bringing back a twice-suspended system of competitive bidding for home care contracts," said Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) in Sudbury today.

Today's news conference was part of a province-wide media tour by CUPE Ontario in partnership with the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC).

The centerpiece of the CUPE-Ontario Health Coalition tour is a video produced by CUPE Ontario featuring interviews with real home care workers, families and home care recipients from across Ontario. (Link to video below.)

"We are appealing to everyone in Ontario – patients and families and concerned citizens – to insist that this government redirect its whole approach to home care before it's too late," said Anne Marie Macinnis from the Ontario Health Coalition.

CUPE Ontario and the Ontario Health Coalition are demanding that the moratorium on competitive bidding be made permanent and the government start rebuilding a system of direct home care service rather than continue to expand in the contracting out regime brought in by Mike Harris' Conservative government.

CUPE is the largest union in Ontario with over 220,000 members.

Links and sources
  CUPE-Ontario Health Coalition tour video

Posted: April 13, 2010

  Health care
  Front lines

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