Media Advisory - March 27 rally to protest nursing cuts at Almonte General Hospital

ALMONTE, ON, March 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Staff at Almonte General Hospital represented by CUPE will rally at noon on March 27 at the office of local MPP Jack MacLaren (240 Michael Cowpland Drive, Unit 100, Kanata)  as part of a campaign to protest the cuts to registered practical nursing staff at the hospital.

10 registered practical nurse positions are being eliminated at the hospital to be replaced with personal support workers.

Registered practical nurses complete a 2-year community college program. They are fully trained nurses and, among many other skills, can do physical assessment, wound care, manage IV's and dispense medications.

Almonte Hospital is in the 4th year of a 5-year funding freeze, imposed by the provincial Liberal government. Ontario's Auditor General has estimated that hospitals need a 5.8% funding increase each year to meet their costs, which are rising faster than inflation due to the costs of drugs, medical technologies and doctors' salaries. The 4-year funding freeze has cut Almonte's budget by 24%. 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 freeze.

"We are building an escalating campaign aimed to push the provincial government to fund hospitals like Almonte General properly.  A community meeting in Almonte is planned for May", says Linda Melbrew, president of CUPE local 3022, which represents staff at the hospital.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: Linda Melbrew, President, CUPE Local 3022, 613-314-5283; Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU), 416-884-0770


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