Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

November 16, 2005 09:59 ET

OFL HEALTH CARE REPORT

SHOWS THE DESPERATE AND EXHAUSTED STATE OF ONTARIO HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN A CHRONICALLY UNDERSTAFFED SYSTEM Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2005) - Today at Queen's Park the Ontario Federation of Labour released its new health care report, Understaffed and Under Pressure: a reality check by Ontario health care workers.

"It's time to put the health care resources where they are most needed: front line staff," said OPSEU President Leah Casselman. "The McGuinty Liberals were elected on the 'choose change' platform, so we were hopeful that the government would come to its senses and realize that quality health care begins with the people who deliver it." The Ontario Public Service Employees Union represents more than 30,000 workers in the health care sector.

"We know the Ontario government has the money to adequately staff our health care system," said Ontario Nurses' Association President, Linda Haslam-Stroud. "The problem is the money is not being allocated to relieve the critical staffing shortages that have stretched our front-line nurses to the limit." ONA speaks for 51,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals. NOT ENOUGH NURSES is ONA's current campaign to pressure the provincial government to invest in nurses and repair the crisis in quality patient care.

"The need for more staff in our health care system is critical," said CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. "Let's hear it from the workers themselves. One worker in the Report put it this way, 'You wouldn't believe what I see every day. Hungry people, dirty people, people in pain. None of them are getting real help. Out of sight, out of mind, is probably the way this government thinks'." CUPE represents over 40,000 health care workers throughout the system.

"There isn't one person, one family that hasn't been touched by illness, the vulnerable elderly, a sick child at two in the morning," said OFL President Wayne Samuelson. "That means there isn't one person or family that hasn't been touched by the people who deliver the care in our health care system. There just aren't enough of them. It's that simple."

The OFL Report is calling on the McGuinty government for an immediate moratorium on layoffs in hospitals; to establish a required minimum standard of 3.5 hours per day of nursing and personal care for residents in nursing homes and homes for the aged, and minimum full-time staffing standards in all health care sectors.

Copies of the Report are available on the OFL's website www.ofl.ca click on Understaffed and Under Pressure.

cope343 IN: HEALTH, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Dana Boettger, OFL Communications Director
    Primary Phone: 416-443-7665