/R E P E A T -- Union calls on administration of Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital to open beds closed since June and commit to keeping all beds open and properly staffed/

ARNPRIOR, ON, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions and CUPE local 2198 are calling on the administration of Arnprior and District Hospital, to keep open 6 acute care beds, which have been primarily closed since June 2013. CUPE local 2198 represents staff at the hospital.

The budgets for Ontario hospitals have been frozen as a result of a 5-year funding freeze introduced by the Liberals and supported by the Progressive Conservative party and by the NDP. Over the last several summers, bed closures in Arnprior have extended from 15 weeks to 17weeks and now much longer.

"Patients are being held the emergency room where they may have been transferred to the floor because the hospital did not staff 6 available beds in acute care. We believe that the beds are needed and should be re-opened and staffed permanently," says Patrick Garbutt, president of CUPE local 2198. "With a community whose population is growing faster than the national average, we need these beds today, tomorrow and well into the future.  When people are recovering in their own community, they have the support of family and friends that promotes a faster recovery. Isolate them from that support structure and there is a barrier to speedy recovery.  We must keep these beds and services open and local - this by definition is patient centered care"

"We are extremely concerned about the ongoing closures of beds at the Arnprior and District Hospital. We believe that patients are being redirected to Ottawa for treatments that they should receive in their community. We are afraid that smaller community hospitals, including Arnprior and District, are being deliberately downsized, phased down and phased out. " says Michael Hurley, the president of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

Mr. Garbutt and Mr. Hurley will hold a media conference to discuss this issue on Monday November 25th at 11:00 a.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, 49 Daniel Street North, Arnprior.

SOURCE: Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information:

Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
416-884-0770


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