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PERTH, ON – Following several weeks of community outreach providing Perth and Smiths Falls residents with details of big cuts to surgery and other service at the district hospitals, area health care workers and other local activists are urging area residents to attend one of two community meetings this coming Monday and Tuesday in Perth and Smiths Falls, respectively.

With an ageing and growing population, the Perth and Smiths Falls communities deserve more access to a full range of health services at the district hospital – not less – say meeting organizers; the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

The proposed cuts amounting to $4 million that include the closure of 12 beds are not a done deal, says OCHU president, Michael Hurley. He’s urging area residents to attend one of the two important community meetings planned for this Monday, January 14 at 7 p.m. at the Perth Civitan Club, and

on Tuesday, January 15 at 7 p.m. at the Smiths Falls Legion Hall.

After many years of defending access to public health care across Ontario, OHC chair Natalie Mehra believes community mobilizing is key to keeping local hospital services. She says, because the provincial government intends to decrease health care funding over the next five years, the community’s ability to mobilize to maintain access to surgeries and other services at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital today “is a litmus test” for what may happen to hospital services in the future. Mehra is encouraging area residents to attend next week’s meetings and “help stop the cuts”.

OCHU is the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario. CUPE represents nearly 70,000 health care workers province-wide.


For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley                     President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions              416-884-0770

Natalie Mehra                       Chair, Ontario Health Coalition                                         416-230-6402    

Stella Yeadon                       CUPE Communications                                                    416-559-9300