Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
People get ready to march Monday at city hall.
An expiration date will cost the health care system billions of dollars a local health coalition says.
Around 50 people marched with the Thunder Bay Health Coalition Monday, part of a national rally to protest the expiration of the Health Accord March 31. The end of the 10-year agreement between the federal government and the provinces threatens the country's public health system and could lead to deep service cuts coalition co-chair Jules Tupker said. It's part of a slow erosion of federal support that will see it go from 50 per cent to 18.
The federal government will keep transfer payments the same until 2017. After that, it will be tied to the county's GDP. Without the accord, critics have argued the money will be given to provinces with no strings attached.
"They decided to cut back on that funding slowly but surely," he said before the group marched from city hall to MPP Bill Mauro's office and then to MP John Rafferty's.
"Our health care is going to deteriorate. The provinces cannot keep up the health care services that they have with those cuts," Tupker said.
Coalition member Evelina Pan worries that without an accord, there won't be a national standard in place for health care.
"With the death of the health accord we won't have good health care," she said. "If you don't have standards how do you know how good the care is."