Union to set up community telephone hotline to track impact of hospital cutbacks in Smiths Falls and Perth

SMITHS FALLS, ON, Oct. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, the hospital division of CUPE, will hold a media conference announcing a community telephone hotline, which will allow members of the public to call in about their experiences with healthcare in the Smiths Falls and Perth and area communities.

The budget for the hospitals in Smiths Fall's and Perth have suffered significant cutbacks as a result of the 5-year funding freeze on hospitals, introduced by the Liberals but supported by the Progressive Conservative and NDP.

Last year the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital announced $4 million in service cuts that included the closure of 12 beds and cuts to physiotherapy and day hospital hours, hip, knee, cataract and day surgeries, palliative care, diagnostic- imaging, and food services.

"We are asking members of the public to call the hotline about their experience with care at the hospital, whether they were sent to Ottawa or Kingston for hospital treatment and what their experiences with homecare have been," says Michael Hurley, the president of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

"We committed to continue to follow up with the community about the impact of cutbacks. Once we have the input from the public we can talk more concretely about the impact of the bed and service reductions at the hospitals on individuals and their families," says Hurley.

The hotline number, which will be up and running on October 11 is: 888-599-0770.

The media conference will take place at the Legion, 7 St. Mary Street East in Smiths Falls, at 11:00 a.m. October 11, 2013.

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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