INGERSOLL, ON, April 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The Alexandra Hospital in Ingersoll
will soon be turning away outpatients wishing to use its medical
The hospital has told front line staff that the lab will be restricted
to hospital inpatients beginning July 1st, leaving local residents
seeking tests ordered by their family physician to visit the private
for-profit CML lab on King St.
While the cut in service may save a modest amount of money for the
hospital, it will likely cost the province much more to conduct the
tests at the private lab.
The cut also comes with a small reduction in staffing at the hospital.
A 2008 government-commissioned study comparing small rural hospital
outpatient laboratories to large central private labs found that for
every dollar spent in the public hospital, the same tests were costing
$1.50 in the private sector.
The cut in service also coincides with last December's announcement that
will take nine complex continuing care beds out of the hospital as part
of a larger redistribution of beds up north to Grey Bruce Health
"There is no question that hospitals across Ontario are feeling the
pinch of the government's decision to implement austerity in health
care," says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the 130,000-member
Ontario Public Service Employees Union. "Transferring more lab services
to the private sector will not help with the government's bottom line."
OPSEU is also concerned that such cuts may rebound on an already
stretched emergency department at the hospital. "The thing about health
care cuts is it doesn't stop anyone from needing care, it just moves
the problem around."
Last year the Alexandra hospital received a one per cent increase in
funding from the province - well below what is needed to maintain the
For further information:
Rick Janson toll free at 1-800-268-7376 or 416-525-3324 (Cell)