NORTH BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2014) - With the prospect of yet another round of significant bed and program closures looming at North Bay Regional Health - up to 60 beds may be cut - front line hospital staff are readying to mobilize the community to fight to keep the beds open and ensure patients get the hospital care they need at the local hospital.
Following the deep cuts to the mental health program last year, further bed cuts will leave North Bay and the surrounding communities with significant problems accessing mental health and acute care hospital services, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 139 and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), the hospital division of CUPE.
OCHU and CUPE 139 will be holding a media conference tomorrow, Friday May 9, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at 120 Lakeshore Drive to outline the potential impacts a cut of this magnitude will have on patient care.
OCHU's Michael Hurley says cutting upward of 60 beds will be devastating for the community. "Surely this is not something Nipissing MPP Vic Fideli would support. We are calling on him to stop these cuts."
In 1995/96, there were a total of 587 beds at the various North Bay hospital sites. Today the NBRHC, which was built under a P3 (public-private-partnership) model, reports a total of 420 beds. That's 40 per cent less beds - a cut of 167 beds at the hospital today. If another 60 beds are cut, the hospital will be down to 360 beds. That's 63 per cent less bed capacity than the hospital had in 1996.