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 04, 2017 12:42 ET

MEDIA ADVISORY-Hamilton hospitals need influx of provincial dollars, not more budget cuts: Health coalition, CUPE media conference Tuesday (August 8) 10:00 a.m.

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 4, 2017) - Battered by years of provincial funding and care cuts and showing the obvious signs of system distress from overcapacity and not enough staff and ambulances, Hamilton hospitals announced recently that more services will be shed to balance budgets. $20 million will be cut from Hamilton Health Sciences' (HHS) budget and may mean dozens more care staff will be eliminated in 2017. Another $7 million will be chopped from the St. Joseph's Health Care budget.

"Hamilton's hospitals are running at dangerously high levels of overcrowding, result of years of underfunding by the Wynne government," says Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC). "We are hearing from patients who are waiting on stretchers in hallways and suffering cancelled surgeries because of the cuts that have already occurred. This community cannot take any more cuts and we will be organizing to rise up and stop them."

Joining Mehra for a media conference on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 10 a.m. at 795 King Street East, Hamilton, are Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7800 president Dave Murphy and Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE). They will review the impact on Hamilton's patients of Ontario's purposeful shrinking of its hospital system and cutting beds and services, despite a growing and aging population.

With not enough hospital beds, HHS currently has occupancy rates of over 110 per cent. Last winter OCHU/CUPE called on the Ontario government to fully fund additional permanent hospital beds to deal with the consistent surge in patients.

CUPE polled people in Hamilton in January 2017 and asked them about their support for hospital cutbacks. 93 per cent opposed cuts to Hamilton hospitals. 91 per cent believed that the provincial government should increase funding for Hamilton hospitals.

OHC is the largest public interest group on health care in Ontario. It has successfully stopped the closure of hospital birthing units and emergency departments across the province and rolled back user fees for patients.

CUPE represents over 10,000 nurses, trades, administrative cleaning and support staff at hospitals in the Hamilton region.

Contact Information

  • Natalie Mehra
    Executive Director, Ontario Health Coalition
    416-230-6402

    Dave Murphy
    President, CUPE 7800
    905-518-5218

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

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications
    416-559-9300