Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

October 11, 2005 11:00 ET

UNDERSTAFFED & UNDER PRESSURE

A REALITY CHECK BY ONTARIO HEALTH CARE WORKERS Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 11, 2005) - Today in Kingston the Ontario Federation of Labour released the report, Understaffed & Under Pressure, about the condition of Ontario's exhausted health care workers struggling to cope with diminished staff and resources. "We know that the Ontario government has the money and it needs to use it to put more staff into the health care system," says OFL executive vice-president Irene Harris.

The Report was compiled by the OFL after a fact-finding tour of 17 cities earlier in the year. The Federation talked to health care workers in every sector of the system: emergency services, homecare, hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, mental health and public health.

In their own words health care workers spoke of frantic shifts, overtime, burn-out, infection, danger, hopelessness and frustration.

"You can't transport a patient on a stretcher all by yourself."
Emergency services worker

"How do we get through to this government? What do we have to do?"
Mental health worker

"They keep making all these cuts and telling everyone that service is moving to the community. Well, where is this mysterious community? No one has ever seen it." Home Care worker

"The Liberal government promised that our health care system would be restored but instead we're seeing another wave of layoffs and cuts to staff," said OFL executive vice-president Irene Harris. "We know there's money there but they're not using it for staff."

The OFL has launched an Understaffing Campaign with the release of the Report to pressure the provincial government for an immediate moratorium on layoffs in hospitals, 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.

The OFL is holding news conferences and Campaign meetings in cities across Ontario between October 11 and November 9, 2005. The Understaffing and Under Pressure Report will be released in Kingston, Brockville, Ottawa, Timmins, Windsor, London, Owen Sound, Peterborough, Toronto, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, St. Catharines, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo.

cope343 IN: HEALTH, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS, OTHER

Contact Information

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