Health Providers Take to the Street for Paid Sick Days

On Thursday, November 19th, members of Health Providers Against Poverty joined a public rally outside Queen’s Park subway station, in an effort to draw attention to a campaign calling for paid sick days for all workers.

15 & Fairness Nov 19 2015.jpg

Currently, employers in Ontario are not required to provide sick days by law. Consequently, too many workers are forced to go to work sick in order to avoid losing pay.

As the Ministry of Labour continues its review of employment legislation to change the Employment Standards Act, there is a unique opportunity to strengthen protections for all workers in Ontario. Health providers are calling for at least seven paid sick days, pro-rated for part-time workers, as well as removing the requirement for medical notes. The campaign is lead by 15 & Fairness.

“As doctors we provide care for our patients, and sometimes this also requires that we address the factors that affect health outcomes. Working while sick is a serious public health concern. The real solution here is to update the labour laws, so that no one has to choose between their pay and well-being.”

“Having patients with flu sit in a waiting room to get a sick note is neither a good use of their time nor our health providers’ time.”

– Dr. Kate Hayman, ER Physician



Campaign for Paid Sick Days Launched at Queen’s Park

With the start of flu season, health care providers and allies have made it clear that paid sick days are a matter of public health and equity.

On Thursday, November 5th, Health Providers Against Poverty joined the Association of Ontario Health Centres and the Fight for 15 & Fairness for a press conference at Queen’s Park. A public statement with over 700 signatures calling for paid sick days was released.

This event drew significant media interest:
CBC As It Happens
CBC Metro Morning
The Toronto Star
Newstalk 1010

Under current Ontario law, no worker has the legal right to paid sick days. In fact, 1.6 million people in Ontario risk losing their jobs altogether when they take a sick day without pay. As the Ministry of Labour continues its review of employment laws, we have a unique opportunity to demand legislated paid sick days for all workers.

Join the campaign here!

“Prescribing Income” Seminar at University of Manitoba

Health Providers Against Poverty Founder, Dr. Gary Bloch, will be presenting Prescribing Income: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Mobilizing Doctors to Treat Poverty at the University of Manitoba on November 23, 2015.

His idea that health care providers should prescribe money to people with low income as an important health intervention ignited action by HPAP 10 years ago. Now, a decade later, these ideas are recognized across Canada in efforts to address the social determinants of health in the clinical setting.

Seminar Nov 23, 2015

Join the OCFP Poverty & Health Community of Practice for Family Physicians

The Ontario College of Family Physician’s Poverty & Health Committee has launched a Community of Practice (CoP), a network of family physicians committed to addressing poverty in clinical practice. The CoP’s primary objective is to facilitate the exchange of poverty and health resources and best practices.  We will communicate through an e-mail list serve and will endeavor to build relationships between members through annual meetings at the Family Medicine Forum (when hosted in Ontario) or the OCFP’s Annual Scientific Assembly.

We invite you to join us for an informal reception to launch the OCFP Poverty & Health Community of Practice, taking place at this year’s FMF in Toronto. We have included below all details regarding the reception. A guest pass is required for entry and can be picked up at the FMF registration desk.

Date: Wednesday November 11, 2015
Time: 6:00-7:30 pm drop-in (Guest Pass Required for Access – See FMF Registration Desk)
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre – 700 level foyer
222 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9
Appetizers and refreshments will be served. No RSVP required.

Unable to attend but still interested in joining the OCFP Poverty and Health Community of Practice? Our registration page is open. Kindly visit to join now!

Media Advisory: Health Care Leaders Call on Government to Fix Ontario’s Sick Day Policies

November 3, 2015

Media Advisory: With the Start of the Flu Season Health Care Leaders Call on Wynne Government to Fix Ontario’s Sick Day Policies

TORONTO – Marketwired – Nov. 3, 2015 – Representatives from Health Providers Against Poverty and the Association of Ontario Health Centres will hold a press conference at Queen’s Park on Thursday, November 5 to call for legislated paid sick days for all workers.

As the Ontario government’s Changing Workplaces Review continues, health sector leaders have mobilized to demand changes to employment standards. No worker in Ontario has a legislated right to a paid sick day. In addition, more than 1.6 million workers have no access to job protected emergency leave.

With the start of the flu season, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care will soon warn people to stay home when sick. But under the province’s current sick day policies too many workers are forced to go to work sick in order to avoid losing pay.

What: Press conference, Photo Opportunity and Interview Availability
Where: Queen’s Park Media Studio, Ontario Legislature
When: November 5, 2015  12:30 PM
Who: Dr. Andrew Pinto, Health Providers Against Poverty, Public Health Specialist and Scientist at St.Michael’s Hospital, Toronto; Axelle Janczur, Executive Director, Access Alliance Community Health Centre; Dr. Danyaal Raza, Family Physician at Sumac Creek Health Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. Advisory Board Member, Upstream

Photo Opportunity: The speakers will unveil a public statement signed by over 700 health care workers.
Interview Availability: An emergency doctor and workers with firsthand experience of the challenges that result from unpaid sick days will be available for media interviews.
Organizations: Health Providers Against Poverty is a province wide alliance of health providers who are committed to addressing poverty as a health issue. The Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) is Ontario’s voice for community-governed primary health care representing 109 organizations. Upstream is a not-for-profit organization that works with the growing body of evidence on social determinants to guide recommendations for health policy change

Health Care Providers Raise Concerns about George Street Revitalization

On Nov 3 2015, Toronto City Council will review plans for the George Street Revitalization (GSR). HPAP has joined 17 organizations and 113 health care providers in signing a Letter to Toronto City Council, outlining concerns around the potential impacts of the GSR.

Toronto City Council members are being asked to address the loss of shelter beds with the intended closure of Seaton House, and to provide a detailed plan on the location of replacement shelter beds and housing transitions that will be made during the GSR.


george-street-revitalization-letter-nov-2-2015-page-002 george-street-revitalization-letter-nov-2-2015-page-003 george-street-revitalization-letter-nov-2-2015-page-004 george-street-revitalization-letter-nov-2-2015-page-005 george-street-revitalization-letter-nov-2-2015-page-006 george-street-revitalization-letter-nov-2-2015-page-007