Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

May 04, 2011 11:24 ET

Media Advisory: Overcrowded hospitals, inadequate resources for cleaning, kill thousands each year

Mobile hospital on northern Ontario tour to fight hospital-acquired infections in Espanola on Thursday

ESPANOLA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - Although medical experts are blaming hospital overcrowding (resulting from cuts to patient beds) for infection outbreaks – particularly outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant superbugs – the Ontario government plans to cut another 5,000 acute care beds province-wide. 16,000 hospital beds have been cut in the province of Ontario since 1995. Currently, hospital bed occupancy is at record levels, over 97 per cent.

Studies show that hospital-acquired infections kill between 8,000 and 12,000 Canadians a year. 42 per cent of these deaths, between 3,200 and 4,800, are in Ontario.

"As many as half of these deaths are preventable," says Sharon Richer, the northern Ontario vice-president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Richer will join hospital staff, who are members of CUPE, at a media conference in Espanola, Thursday,

May 5, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex, 175 Avery Drive, Espanola, in a tour of northern Ontario to heighten awareness about the death toll from hospital-acquired infections and what could bring the death rate down.

A mobile hospital room display will be set up as part of the media conference to demonstrate the effective and thorough cleaning required to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Marc Lafrance, Francophone vice-president for OCHU, will also participate in the event. The OCHU/CUPE infection tour will be in Mattawa on Friday, May 6.

Contact Information

    Sharon Richer
    Northern Ontario VP
    (705) 698-6668

    Marc Lafrance
    Francophone VP
    (613) 889-2600

    Louis Rodrigues
    First VP
    (613) 531-1319

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications
    (416) 559-9300