Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

July 07, 2011 16:14 ET

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

Mobile hospital on provincial tour to fight hospital-acquired infections in Windsor Monday

WINDSOR, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 7, 2011) - Although medical experts blame hospital overcrowding (resulting from cuts to patient beds) for infection outbreaks – particularly outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant superbugs – the Ontario government policies will lead to another 5,000 care bed cuts 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—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). At Niagara Region hospitals, 16 patients have died recently from an outbreak of C. difficile. Hundreds of people from the community rallied this week to call on the Ministry of Health to act quickly to ensure there are no more deaths due to the outbreak.

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 Windsor, Monday, July 11—11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon—at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 255, 5645 Wyandotte Street East.

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.

Media conference details for Tuesday and Wednesday are as follows:
Tuesday, July 12 - 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Farquharson Arena ('A' Pad)
411 Tecumseh Avenue East
London, Ontario
Wednesday, July 13 - 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 418
294 Vine Street North
St. Catharines, Ontario

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