Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

June 28, 2011 14:14 ET

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

Mobile hospital on provincial tour to fight hospital-acquired infections in Peterborough Wednesday

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 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).

To heighten awareness about the death toll from hospital-acquired infections and what could bring death rates down, Richer will join hospital staff who are members of CUPE at a media conference in Peterborough, Wednesday, June 29 — 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon — at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 52, 1550 Lansdowne Street West.

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.

The tour will be in Lindsay on Thursday, June 30, at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 67, 12 York Street North.

Contact Information

    Sharon Richer
    Northern Ontario VP
    (705) 698-6668

    Louis Rodrigues
    First VP
    (613) 531-1319

    CUPE Communications
    Stella Yeadon
    (416) 559-9300