OHC: Revisioning Public Health Care: conference and health action assembly

Save Public Medicare! Information


“We are in the midst of an all-out assault on our public health system. With a court challenge to bring down single-tier Medicare in Ontario and a provincial party leader campaigning for private hospitals, the time could not be more critical for all health coalition members and supporters to get together to establish a clear vision of where we are going and how we are going to get there.”

Natalie Mehra
Director, Ontario Health Coalition

Revisioning Public Health Care: A conference on building and improving the public health system

Friday, November 2, 2007, 9:00 am
Oakham House, Ryerson University, Toronto

Health Action Assembly! Setting our strategy for the new provincial government

Saturday, November 3, 2007, 9:00 am
St. Vladimir Institute, 675 Spadina Ave., Toronto

CONFERENCE: This conference will provide an opportunity for community activists, practicioners, academics, and frontline medical service workers to forge a new vision for how to improve our health system to make it more effective, more equitable, and more democratic. Our goal is to develop and share a vision of what we are fighting for, not just what we are fighting against. We recognize that there is plenty of room for improvement in our public healthcare system—and that communities and healthcare
workers bring needed experience, ideas, and knowledge to the table. Join us to be a part of building a deeper healthcare movement.

HEALTH ACTION ASSEMBLY: With reports and planning on P3s – Long Term Care – Wait times strategy – LHINs – Home Care – Primary Health Care – Private Clinics – Two-tier medicare – Rural, northern and remote hospitals

Conference agenda

9AM Plenary—Revisioning Public Healthcare


1. Building best practices in long term care.

A comparative look at national legislation and policy and international research about regulation, care standards, building and rebuilding beds, and care practices.

Amy Go (Executive Director, Yeehong): Yeehong is a national leader in accessibility and culturally appropriate care. Amy Go will talk about how they do it.
Philippa Welch (Simcoe County Long Term Care / Ontario Association of Non-profit Homes and Services for Seniors): ownership matters—revisioning capital planning and building long term care publicly.
Corey Vermey (Canadian Auto Workers, healthcare sector): national and international best practices for care standards.
Jennifer Whiteside (Hospital Employees Union, British Columbia): HEU has commissioned an extensive comparison of ownership, access, and quality of care issues in provinces across Canada. Jennifer Whiteside will present the results.

2. Revisioning best practices in hospitals.

For well over a decade, provincial health policy has been focussed on reducing the size and scope of hospitals. Hospitals have been seen as too expensive, or as dehumanizing
institutions. This session attempts to develop another analysis and another approach. What can a renewed, modern and vibrant role for hospitals be? What can and should be best practices in governance, accountability,
accessibility, and public non-profit service provision?

Ross Sutherland (Kingston Health Coalition)
, a practising registered nurse, will present his master’s thesis research on laboratory reform and privatization.
Natalie Mehra (Ontario Health Coalition): For several years, the OHC has been at the forefront of policy debate, advocating
for greater democracy and accountability in our hospitals. Natalie Mehra will present a vision for improving hospital democracy and governance.
Michael Hurley (OCHU): What kind of hospitals do we want? Michael Hurley presents a robust progressive vision for hospital reform.


1. Towards a vision for small, rural and remote hospitals

Over the last decade or more, the trend has been to turn away from trying to increase rural and remote accessibility. Now, hospital specialization, cuts and restructuring dominate
policy discussions. This session seeks to develop a renewed vision of care for small, rural and remote hospitals.

Arthur Ronald (ED and CEO of Lennox and Addington County General Hospital) will talk about how to build a vibrant small community hospital
Helen Havlik (Charlotte Englehardt Rural Hospital Task Force, Petrolia) and Arlene Patterson (Sarnia Health Coalition) talk about how to organize to protect community services.
Doug Allan (CUPE) talks about trends in hospital budgeting: the perils of market-style restructuring and how we should balance accountability with the efficiency of global budgets.
(speaker to be confirmed): what northern hospitals need.

2. Homecare after the Caplan report

In the last year, CCACs have restructured, the government announced a major investment of $700 million into home support, and homecare tenders have remained on hold. In the current context can we build a common vision of restored
public, non-profit homecare? What would this look like and how do we achieve it?

Evelyn Shapiro (University of Manitoba): In the 1970s, Evelyn Shapiro was charged with implementing public homecare in Manitoba as assistant deputy minister. She talks about that experience and how it relates to Ontario after the Caplan report.
Rick Janson (Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union): the Ontario Health Coalition’s position on homecare reform.
(speaker to be confirmed): robust progressive reform in home care.



1. Beyond the Status Quo—Towards Democracy and Accountability

What does democratizing the health system mean for public Medicare? What media reform, if any, should we be calling for? What can public auditing do to strengthen public Medicare? What kind of tax and spending policies should we be supporting to achieve financial sustainability? A challenging workshop on these controversial issues.

Hugh Mackenzie, noted economist, talks about grappling with the tax cuts agenda
Judy Rebick: the well known social activist and author talks about democratizing our health care system
Lewis Auerbach, former director of the Auditor-General’s Office .of Ontario on how to improve auditing for democratic governance and accountability in the health system.

2. Achieving Primary Care Reform

Though there is broad academic support and overwhelming
consensus for primary care reform, progress is slow and for-profit incorporation of doctor’s groups is spreading.
What are the threats and how can we achieve real primary care reform?

Adrianna Tetley (Ontario Association of Health Centres) speaks on building real prevention and promotion.
Doris Grinspun (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario) presents the Ontario Health Coalition’s position on primary care reform.
Laura Hanson (Street Health): based on her experience working the front lines of health care with society’s most marginal
populations, Laura Hanson talks about how to ensure real accessibility in primary care.
Terry Kaufman (invited), former executive director of Notre Dame de Grace CLSC in Montreal, talks about the innovative CLSC model of primary care in Quebec.

3. Challenging Privatization

The fight to dismantle public healthcare is not going away. As long as a large private health industry exists, there will be significant pressure on politicians of all stripes to hand over “market share” to for-profit companies. How is this struggle playing itself out behind the scenes? What have been the most effective strategies and tactics to protect and enhance the public system? Where are the upcoming challenges and opportunities?

Steven Shrybman, noted lawyer and author of books on globalization’s legal impacts, talks about stopping private clinics from a legal point of view.
Corvin Russell will present the comparative research he has done for the OHC on the growth of private clinics across the country.
Colleen Fuller, author of Caring for Profit, the seminal text on health privatization in Canada, talks about why ownership matters, private clinics, events in BC, and the gutting of medicare.


3:45PM—Closing Plenary

Moving forward: Plenary discussion on strategies, ideas, policies based on the day’s workshops.


Revisioning Public Health Care & Health Action Assembly Registration Form

REGISTER NOW by mailing this form along with payment to:
Ontario Health Coalition, 15 Gervais Drive, Suite 305, Toronto, Ontario M3C 1Y8
Fax: 416-441-4073 Email: ohc@sympatico.ca Phone: 416-441-2502

Please note that although we cannot guarantee a scent-free space we encourage participants to refrain from wearing scents out of consideration for people with scent allergies.

I am registering for the Friday Conference AND/OR I am registering for the Saturday Action Assembly
Contact Name
Contact Address
Postal Code
Daytime Phone
Evening Phone
Number of people attending Friday conference
Names of additional people attending
Friday conference
Number of people attending Saturday Assembly
Names of additional people attending
Saturday assembly:
Number of people attending Friday Conference x $60 per person =
+ Number of people attending Saturday Assembly x $(0 – $35 sliding scale) =

Hotel Registration
The OHC has reserved a block of rooms for a discounted rate of $92/night at the Primrose Best Western (downtown Toronto, several blocks from both Friday and Saturday events) 111 Carlton Street (near Jarvis). Please call 1-800-565-8805 or 416-977-8000 and refer to the Ontario Health Coalition rate to book your rooms. (Local health coalitions will be subsidized for 1 – 2 representatives if no local funding is available. Please contact the OHC as soon as possible to book if you are the local coalition representative.) Please call ASAP to be assured of the room rate.

Ontario Health Coalition

15 Gervais Drive Suite 305

Toronto, ON  M3C 1Y8

Phone: 416-441-2502

Fax: 416-441-4073

4 Responses to OHC: Revisioning Public Health Care: conference and health action assembly

  1. […] there. Natalie Mehra Director, Ontario Health Coalition Revisioning Public Health Care source: OHC: Revisioning Public Health Care: conference…, […]


  2. […] Verbena-19 wrote an interesting post today on OHC: Revisioning Public Health Care: conference and health action assemblyHere’s a quick excerpt […]


  3. str8shooter says:



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