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

  • OCHU/CUPE
    Sharon Richer
    Northern Ontario VP
    (705) 698-6668

    OCHU/CUPE
    Louis Rodrigues
    First VP
    (613) 531-1319

    CUPE Communications
    Stella Yeadon
    (416) 559-9300