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Patients at increased risk of infection as Elisabeth Bruyere cuts 30 cleaners

OTTAWA – Lack of adequate provincial funding for hospitals is again forcing cuts to patient care at Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital, says Brian Grant, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4540. Grant will hold a media conference tomorrow (Thursday, December 3) at 10 a.m. outside the hospital at 43 Bruyere Street to highlight the impact of the most recent cuts.

In the latest wave of cuts to hit the Bruyere, 30 cleaners and 12 dietary staff positions are being eliminated. Hospital acquired infections are a leading cause of death for patients in Ontario hospitals. These cuts come on top of the elimination of scores of nursing team positions over the last 2 years.

Hospitals across Ontario are cutting services in the face of a 5-year funding freeze imposed by the provincial Liberal government. An Ontario’s Auditor General report quotes studies which estimated that healthcare needs a 5.8 per cent increase in funding each year to keep pace with the costs of drugs and medical technologies, which are rising faster than the general rate of inflation.

“Ontario hospitals were already the most efficient hospitals in the country with the fewest beds and staff and the shortest lengths of stay going into the budget freeze,” says Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE president Michael Hurley, who is also speaking at tomorrow’s media conference.

Using Canadian Institute for Healthcare Information (CIHI) data, OCHU calculated that the provincial funding shortfall for Ottawa-Carleton hospitals is more than $312 million annually. Ontario spends $353 less per capita (person) than any other province in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Hurley
President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE

Brian Grant
President, CUPE 4540 – Elisabeth-Bruyere Hospital

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications

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