Hamilton, On – Although Hamilton’s population is growing and aging, Ontario’s Conservative government is planning multiple years of budget cuts to area hospitals. That’s in addition to the $42 Million in cuts for Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joseph’s Health Care (in 2019) exposed just a few days ago. “What’s coming will be much bigger, because the impact of the cuts will be compounded,” says Dave Murphy the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Murphy along with Michael Hurley, president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) will hold a media conference at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 outside the HHS administrative offices on 100 King St. West to release projected Hamilton hospitals’ provincial funding shortfalls based on Conservative fiscal plans to 2023.
The Conservative’s April 2019 budget cut hospital operating costs in real terms by 3 per cent. Those cuts build to 15 per cent by 2023. These cuts unfold just as Hamilton will see a steady population increase of over 3 per cent over five years.
Hamilton’s senior population is also growing and growing rapidly. About 30 per cent of the city’s population – more than 167,000 people – are now over 55 years old. That number is projected to climb to 260,000 (a 56 per cent increase) over the next two decades. Many of these older adults are lower income and underhoused. Food bank use among this population is also increasing.
These demographic indicators – particularly those tied to the social determinants of health “should be taken very seriously,” says Hurley. “They point to residents using the health system and – hospitals in particular – more, not less. Although the Premier has said his Conservative government will end hallway health care within a year, with another $42 million in provincial funding for care, staff and program cuts in 2019 alone, Hamilton patients will be facing increasing overcrowding and care in hospital corridors, tub rooms and lounges. But it doesn’t stop there because these cuts are projected to continue to 2023.”
CUPE represents about 5000 hospital employees in Hamilton.
For more information, please contact:
Dave Murphy, President CUPE 7800, 905-385-4555
Michael Hurley, President, OCHU/CUPE, 416-884-0770
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300, [email protected]