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MRG Open Letter to Dennis Timbrell

November 22, 1979

The Hon. Dennis Timbrell, Minister of Health, Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario.

Dear Mr. Timbrell:

We are disturbed by your continuing refusal to address the critical problems of the Ontario health care system, most recently evidenced by your insensitive, even cynical response to a petition signed by 275,000 Ontario residents. On behalf of the more than 100 Ontario physicians and medical students who are members of the Medical Reform Group, we take strong exception to your continuing attempts to minimize the problems currently faced by ourselves, our colleagues, and our patients. Crowded emergency departments, inadequate numbers of chronic care beds, overworked nursing and support staff, lack of opted-in consultants -- these are a daily fact of life for us, and no amount of statistical sleight-of-hand or political bombast can obscure this fact. The victim is the Ontario public.

The more than a quarter of a million people who recently signed an NDP petition did so not because of information provided by the NDP or any other political party, but as a result of the frustrations they have encountered in their own dealings with the health care system. Your failure to recognize this is deplorable. Rather than spend $55,000 of the taxpayer's money to send your own partisan response to each person who signed the petition, we feel you would be well-advised to put the money where it is needed most -- into the health system and into research designed to correct its ills.

As members of the Steering Committee of the Medical Reform Group of Ontario, we are

Yours very truly,
C. Carver M.D.
D. Copes M.D.
J. Marshall M.D.

cc:
Toronto Globe and Mail
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Hamilton Spectator
Health critic, Liberal Party
Health Critic New Democratic Party

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