COBOURG, ON – Already struggling with increasing hallway health care and the flu season in the offing, how will Northumberland’s hospitals fare under the strain of billions of dollars more in provincial cuts the Conservatives have signaled making in health care?
At a media conference Wednesday, October 2, 2019 (10:00 a.m.) at the Columbus Community Centre – Lounge, 232 Spencer Street East, Cobourg, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario, will release data that projects how many Northumberland hospital staff and beds would be cut under the Ford PC plans.
“Since the Conservatives were elected in the summer of 2018, things have gotten significantly worse in Ontario as far as hospital overcapacity, ER wait times, hallway medicine and the number of seniors with complex conditions waiting for long-term care beds, are concerned,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
Despite PC announcements for new long-term care beds they say will alleviate hallway health care, the LTC umbrella association reports that an additional 1,087 Ontarians are on the waiting list for a bed. That’s an increase of 3.2 per cent in the last year. Also, very alarming is that wait times in ERs increased 13.2 per cent in the first year of the Conservative government.
Further, Hurley says, the PCs are “making matters worse by cutting hospital capacity while using a new round of health system restructuring to distract Ontarians from the lack of hospital beds and care.”
The OCHU/CUPE report ‘Protecting What Matters Most’ looks at health ministry spending restraint outlined in the 2019 Ontario budget while factoring inflation, population and aging growth cost pressures.
The data being released Wednesday morning incorporates the recent budget and economic review of Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) which shows that the government plans $8 billion in health care cuts by 2023-24. For Northumberland, that means more in unannounced hospital and other health care cuts.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Hurley, President, OCHU/CUPE, 416-884-0770
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300, [email protected]