SUDBURY, ON — Despite telegraphing a much-needed provincial funding injection into hospitals in last week’s budget, “Ontario’s Liberals again didn’t deliver for hospital patients,” says Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
Hurley and Dave Shelefontiuk the president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1623 will hold a media conference in Sudbury on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 10 a.m. at 885 Regent St. 3rd floor – Unit 11A. They will announce a provincial hospital rally in Sudbury in June and review the implications of the Ontario budget funding shortfall for hospitals.
The budget only gave 3 per cent. But real costs are rising 5.3 per cent.
“For hospitals like Health Sciences North that means continued overcrowding and not enough staff to meet the needs of increasingly sicker patients. We are optimistic that the other two Ontario parties appreciate the need to restore funding to hospitals,” says Hurley.
Shelefontiuk says front line staff at the hospital are working flatout and dealing with high workloads and demands. “I don’t see how keeping a hospital workforce so lean that they are permanently exhausted can be good for patient outcomes,” says Shelenfontiuk.
Hospitals and long-term care facilities have endured 8 years of real budget cuts. OCHU and others including the Ontario Hospital Association had called for at least a 5 per cent funding increase for hospitals in 2017.
Based on the latest figures from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Ontario government funding for hospitals is $1,395.73 per capita. The rest of Canada, excluding Ontario, spends $1,749.69 per capita. In other words, provincial and territorial governments outside of Ontario spend $353.96 more per person on hospitals than Ontario does. That is a whopping 25.3 per cent more than Ontario.
The June provincial hospital funding rally planned for Sudbury is one of several planned for 2017. Over 2000 hospital and long-term care workers attended similar rallies held in October 2016 in Kingston and in Hamilton in February.
For more information please contact:
Michael Hurley President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) 416-884-0770
Stella Yeadon Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Communications 416-559-9300
Dave Shelefontiuk President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1623 705-929-8457