HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 5, 2017) - Hospital and long-term care staff from Ottawa, Kingston, Cornwall, New Liskeard, Sudbury, North Bay, Toronto and many communities in between, will be in Hamilton for a noon rally on Monday (February 6, 2017), to demand higher provincial funding for health care.
It's anticipated that over 1000 health care workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) calling for a 5 per cent provincial funding increase for hospitals and long-term care in 2017 and a commitment of on-going stable funding, will attend Monday's protest.
Buses are leaving their respective cities and towns early morning Monday, to be in Hamilton for the 12 noon rally at the General Site of Hamilton Health Science (HHS), Victoria Ave. North and Barton St. East.
Ontario spends the least amount of money of any of the provinces on its long-term care and hospitals. Research data shows the other provinces spend 25 per cent more than Ontario on hospitals. Ontario has fewer hospital beds to population of any province in Canada.
Hamilton, Windsor, Sudbury, Ottawa and Greater Toronto Area hospitals have been overcrowded and routinely over 100 per cent capacity for several months. Experts say capacity over 85 per cent increases the risk of patients getting an infection.
"Hospitals are dealing with too many patients and not enough beds. Eight years of provincial Liberal funding cuts have reduced hospital budgets by over 25 per cent, in real terms. We are asking the government to adequately address the health care needs of Ontario's ageing and growing population.
"With so many cuts to hospitals, long-term care homes are now used as complex continuing care hospitals without any additional staff. It is time for real funding increases for hospitals and long term care and a commitment of ongoing, stable funding," says Michael Hurley the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
Ontario's Financial Accountability Office estimates health care needs about a 5.3 per cent annual increase to meet basic costs, driven higher than inflation by drugs and medical technologies.
Monday's (February 6) rally in Hamilton is the second in a series of similar community actions planned for 2017. Demonstrations are planned for Kenora on April 26, Sudbury on June 15 and Ottawa on October 19. The first protest was held in Kingston at the end of October 2016.