March 20, 2018 6:52 pm

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath rallies with patients to save London’s Cardiac Fitness Institute

More than 100 demonstrators rallied out front of the London Health Sciences Centre to protest the planned closure of the Cardiac Fitness Institute.

Jaclyn Carbone / 980 CFPL
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Patients are ramping up efforts to save London’s Cardiac Fitness Institute (CFI).

More than 100 demonstrators rallied out front of the London Health Sciences Centre on Tuesday afternoon alongside Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

“You’re making sure the people who make decisions about health-care services remember who the most important people are,” said Horwath.

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“The patients, the families — that’s who should be always at the centre of all decisions that are made about our health care,” she said.

READ MORE: Protesters call on Liberal government to save Cardiac Fitness Institute

She told the crowd that London is ground zero for the kind of health cuts that the Wynne government has been imposing on Ontarians.

“We have to stop the cuts in health care in London. We have to stop the cuts, we have to save the Cardiac Fitness Institute. We have to start investing in our hospitals again,” said Horwath.

Horwath said she’s met with patients and had discussions with many people who have used the facility.

“They’ve told me [the CFI] has literally been a lifesaver for them.”

Acey Wahby is one of those people.

After having a triple bypass surgery in 1988, Wahby started his rehabilitation at CFI. Thirty years later, he still uses the facility.

READ MORE: London patients campaign to save Cardiac Fitness Institute

“I was 62 years of age when I came here. I’m 92 now. Without this institution, I wouldn’t be standing here today,” said Wahby.

“People will die if they close this facility,” he said.

Horwath said if her party is elected, they will save the CFI.

LHSC officials announced early this year they were going to shut the program down, and post-acute patients would be referred to St. Joseph’s Hospital where patients receive up to six months of provincially-funded therapy and counselling.

The CFI has been operating since 1981 but is slated to close in May.

— With files from Scott Monich

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