Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

May 12, 2011 12:03 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 Geraldton on Monday

GERALDTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 12, 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 Geraldton, Monday,
May 16, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at the Geraldton Recreation Centre (Lobby), 200 Wardrope Avenue South East, Geraldton, on 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 Hearst on Tuesday, May 17, Hornepayne on Wednesday, May 18, and Chapleau on Thursday, May 19.

Contact Information

    Sharon Richer
    Northern Ontario VP
    (705) 698-6668

    Marc Lafrance
    Francophone VP
    (613) 889-2600

    Louis Rodrigues
    First VP
    (613) 531-1319

    CUPE Communications
    Stella Yeadon
    (416) 559-9300