Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

January 19, 2007 09:48 ET

UNDERSTAFFED & UNDER PRESSURE

Ontario's health care system near the breaking point

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 19, 2007) - At a Queen's Park news conference today the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) again called on the McGuinty Liberals to address the serious issue of understaffing in virtually every part of the health care system.

The recently released final report of Justice Archie Campbell on Ontario's response to the 2003 SARS crisis points out the critical role played by health care workers during the crisis. The SARS Report also outlines the critical need for more health care staff.

In 2005 the OFL traveled the province talking to health care workers in nursing homes, homes for the aged, retirement homes, hospitals, emergency services, laboratories, home care, public health units and mental health facilities. What the Federation found was a system stretched to its limit with diminished staffing levels, under resourced, exhausted front-line workers and heavy, heavy workloads on workers in every sector.

After traveling the province the OFL distributed postcards to health care workers to sign and return to Premier McGuinty. "We Deliver the Care in Health Care" was the postcard message to the Premier and health care workers urged the government to address the understaffing crisis.

Talking to front line workers also produced the Report: Understaffed & Under Pressure: A reality check by Ontario health care workers. The Report outlines the conditions of the exhausted workers who are trying to provide the proper care to our society's sick, injured and frail in the face of our understaffed health care system and calls on the provincial government to restore and strengthen the public health care system.

Speaking at the news conference today:

Terry Downey, Executive Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Labour
Cathy Carroll, Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union Local 1
Fred Hahn, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario Division
Patty Rout, Chair, Health Care Divisional Council, Ontario Public Service Employees Union

At the news conference OFL Executive Vice-President Terry Downey gave MPP, NDP Health & Long-Term Care critic Shelley Martel the postcards to pass on to the McGuinty government.

The message remains the same for health care workers in this province "We Deliver the Care in Health Care" and we are desperately understaffed.

cope343 /For further information: Terry Downey
OFL Executive Vice-President
416.578.3230 (cellular)/ IN: HEALTH, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Dana Boettger, OFL Communications Director
    Primary Phone: 416-441-2731
    Secondary Phone: 416-443-7665
    Toll-Free: 800-668-9138