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Health coalitions holding referendum on private health care this weekend

A “citizen-led referendum” is happening this weekend to push back against the province’s plans to expand private health care.

Local chapters of the Ontario Health Coalition will be taking ballots from members of the public on May 26 and 27.

According to Bonnie Roe, Chair of the Haliburton Highlands Long Term Care Coalition, the ballots pose one question to residents 16 or older: “do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics, yes or no?”

It’s in response to the passing of Bill 60 in May, which expands for-profit health care providers to take on surgeries and diagnostic procedures normally done at public hospitals, something the province claims will make it quicker and easier to access care. The coalition says more than 160,000 people have already voted via online or advance polls.

Voting can be done at more than 20 locations across Haliburton County, as well as online, available at the coalition’s website. Results will be announced 10:00 a.m. at Haliburton’s Head Lake Park on May 30, and taken to Queen’s Park on May 31.

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