The (Ontario Health) coalition, which advocates for improvements to the public health care system, is documenting experiences like Zammit’s at hearings around rural Ontario this month. With input from opposition critics, the network of over 400 grassroot organizations wants to draft recommendations on how to improve local hospitals, especially in rural areas.

Executive director Natalie Mehra said it will follow their report last year, which recorded almost 1,200 emergency room closures in the province.

“The goal is to push the Ford government and stop them from continuing to shut down and dismantle public health services and sort of destroy them through privatization,” said Mehra.

The province is budgeted to spend $85 billion on health care this year, she noted.

Zammit said she didn’t see that funding reflected on the ground.