ALMONTE, ON – A media conference is planned for Friday, October 23, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in Almonte to release Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data (from 2009-2014) that shows patient readmissions at Almonte General Hospital are spiking.

“This increase in readmission rates,” says Linda Melbrew, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 3022 ― which represents staff at the Almonte hospital ― “reflects the impact of four years of deep provincial funding cuts for our hospital. Without enough beds and staff, some patients are sent home before they are well, and larger numbers are returning to hospital because they were too sick to have been discharged in the first place.”

Melbrew will be joined by Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) president Michael Hurley at the Bridge Street Legion in Almonte for the media conference Friday.

According to the data, Ontario hospital inpatient days have fallen 13.4 per cent over the last four years. In the rest of Canada (excluding Quebec), inpatient days, per-capita, have actually increased 8.4 per cent over the last four years.

Earlier in 2015, Almonte General Hospital cut ten registered practical nurses.

Real funding cuts for hospitals, shortened inpatient stays, keeping patients out of hospitals altogether and downsizing hospital capacity, are the focus of the Liberals’ health reforms, says Hurley. “There is a direct correlation, we believe, between the provincial budget cuts to the hospital and these readmission rates.”

Readmissions also represent a huge cost to the healthcare system, Hurley says, because these cases typically require much longer stays. “The Liberals have cut hospital budgets by 20 per cent over the last four years in real terms and now the hospital system, with the fewest beds available in the developed world, is failing to properly heal an increasing number of people. The province needs to fund its hospitals properly.”


For more information, please contact:

Michael Hurley, President, (OCHU/CUPE) 416-884-0770
Linda Melbrew, President, CUPE 3022 613-314-5283
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications 416-559-9300