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From Simcoe County to Queen's Park: Protesters rally for health care funding


Dozens of protesters travelled from Simcoe County and Muskoka south to Queen's Park on Thursday to join a rally calling on the Ford government to increase funding for health care staff and ensure that facilities and services remain accessible to those who need them.

"The Ontario government is ignoring the health care crisis," said Anisa Carrascal, a local nurse and the co-chair of the Simcoe County Health Coalition. "We have unprecedented ER closures. We have a severe shortage of personnel, staff, etc."

Tammy Stadt, who is wheelchair-bound with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, was among the Barrie protesters and said she had to leave the country to get the neurosurgery she needed.

"I may not be able to walk right now, but I can at least have my voice heard," she said. "I haven't been heard so far in the current health care system and in the current government."

"It's all about patient safety," said Kaylee Heath, a nurse and board member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). "That is what we're here to do, is fight for our patients and advocate on their behalf."

Tony Vanderstelt of the Save South Muskoka Hospital Committee was on one of several buses that took more than a hundred protesters to the Toronto rally. He believes the government has plans to "eventually make these hospitals so small they'll become unviable and hence will close."

"We are demanding that the Ford government solve this crisis," said Peter Cross with the Save South Muskoka Hospital Committee. "Take the time, be brave, get it right, and respect and uphold the principles of the Canada Health Act."

The Simcoe County Health Coalition will host a public hearing at Barrie's Public Library on June 11, where a panel of experts will hear submissions from the public about health care services that should be improved in the region. Top Stories

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