Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

July 09, 2015 10:11 ET

Thessalon-Media Advisory: Northern Ontario faces harshest cuts to patient care; finds hotline report check-in

THESSALON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 9, 2015) - The authors of a study that chronicled the experiences of hundreds of patients and their families with the province's health system, are in northeastern Ontario this week to provide an update on how northern patients are faring, following three straight years of provincial hospital cuts.

A media conference is scheduled in Thessalon for Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 12 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 182, 18 Algoma Street West.

"Northern Ontario is harshly affected by hospital cutbacks, exacerbated by the challenges of geography and by poverty and underemployment," says Michael Hurley, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) president. He will be speaking at Thursday's media conference along with Sharon Richer, a front-line northern Ontario hospital worker.

Compared to the rest of the province, northeastern Ontario also has a higher percentage of people with multiple chronic conditions, adults who are overweight or obese, smokers and heavy drinkers.

Since the report Pushed Out of Northern Hospitals, Abandoned at Home: After Twenty Years of Budget Cuts, Ontario's Health System is Failing Patients, was released in 2014, the local hospital has cut nursing care significantly.

A key finding of the report is that, provincial cuts to hospital care are particularly hurting the elderly.

"For us living in the northeast, where our population is older than the provincial average, knowing that provincial health reforms are disproportionately affecting seniors, is very alarming," says Richer.

In the northeast 19% of people are aged 65+ as compared to 15% for Ontario. The number of seniors in the northeast is expected to rise. Within the next 10 years, it's projected that one in every four residents in northeastern Ontario will be aged 65 or older.

Contact Information

  • Michael Hurley
    Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

    Sharon Richer
    OCHU, Regional Vice-President