Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

July 07, 2015 10:56 ET

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

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 7, 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 northwestern 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 Thunder Bay for Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 5, 229 Van Norman Street.

"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 Saturday's media conference along with Sharon Richer, a front-line northern Ontario hospital worker.

Compared to the rest of the province, northwestern Ontario also has a higher percentage of people with multiple chronic conditions, adults who are overweight or obese, smokers and heavy drinkers. Residents also have high rates of hospitalizations for many chronic conditions including mental health and substance use conditions, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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.

The number of seniors in the northwest is expected to rise from 15.8% in 2014 to 21.8% in 2024.

Contact Information

  • Michael Hurley
    Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)
    416-884-0770

    Sharon Richer
    OCHU, Regional Vice-President
    705-280-0911