Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

August 01, 2017 16:15 ET

MEDIA ADVISORY: Below par provincial funding for Kingston's merged hospital "is cause for alarm"; media conference tomorrow at 11 a.m.

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 1, 2017) - A below par provincial funding allocation for the newly merged Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), "is cause for alarm at a time of significant change," says Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1974 president Mike Rodrigues.

A general 3.1 per cent increase in hospital funding was proposed in the 2017 provincial budget last April. Following that, in the throes of a by-election, the Sault Area Hospital received a 3.8 per cent funding increase. On average hospitals are receiving about 2 per cent well below the announced 3.1 per cent.

"It looks like our hospital won't even scratch the low end of the 2 per cent funding. That's a serious problem since the hospital has been overcapacity, with a marked increase in patients for most of 2017," says Rodrigues.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 2, 2017) at 11 a.m. at the Stuart Street entrance of the Kingston General Hospital (KGH), Rodrigues along with CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) president Michael Hurley, will hold a media conference to discuss the impacts of the below average allocation.

"It is very concerning that funding is so low for Kingston's newly merged hospital. While the optics of pretend funding make for good sound bites for the provincial government, the reality for patients of funding below inflationary pressures, which run over 5 per cent, is that there will be more patient care, service, bed and staff cuts. More patients will be in solariums, tub rooms and hallways because there just aren't enough beds," says Hurley.

In October 2016, OCHU/CUPE organized a large provincial rally in Kingston attended by over 1000 health care workers, aimed at increasing funding by 5 per cent for hospitals, to stem 10 years of cuts. The Ontario Hospital Association called for a similar investment in hospital funding to reflect the actual hospital operating costs. Rallies were also held in Hamilton, Kenora and Sudbury. Another rally is planned for October in Ottawa at the Montfort hospital.

Contact Information

  • Michael Hurley
    President, OCHU/CUPE
    416-884-0770

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications
    416-559-9300

    Mike Rodrigues
    President CUPE 1974
    613-876-4309