Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

January 20, 2015 17:58 ET

Media Advisory: Widespread hospital cuts in Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, North Bay, Temiskaming focus of presentation at budget consultation tomorrow

SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 20, 2015) - Hundreds of ill patients in northeastern Ontario are affected by widespread and accelerating cuts to care, hospital services and beds, Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) will tell the province's finance and economic affairs committee, at the pre-budget consultation tomorrow (Wednesday, January 21, 12:15 p.m.) in Sudbury at the Radisson Hotel, 85 Ste Anne Rd.

Despite the provincial Liberal government's insistence that there are no cuts to health care, their zero funding increase policy for hospitals is taking its toll, says Hurley. Ontario community hospitals in the northeast have been particularly hard-hit. The trail of cuts to beds, services, care and jobs is extensive.

Yesterday, the hospital in Sault Ste Marie announced that 45 jobs would be cut. Facing a $4.5 million provincial funding shortfall, the Timmins hospital cut services and 40 jobs recently. Last spring the North Bay hospital began a significant $30 million cut to beds including to mental health beds and eliminating hundreds of nursing and personal support workers (PSWs) positions. The most recent of these cuts includes 75 job cuts and the closure of eight mental health beds. Temiskaming Shores is proposing a cut of 18,000 nursing hours and closing the operating room half the time.

"Patients - real people - are being hurt by these cuts. To suggest otherwise is not credible," says Hurley, who will call for a reinvestment in hospital care at tomorrow's budget consultation.

Contact Information

  • Michael Hurley
    President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications