Media Advisory - Mr. Thibeault wrong to pretend cuts to patient care, hospital services aren't happening

Northern patient hotline check-in media conference Monday at 10:00 a.m.

SUDBURY, ON, July 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault's claims that "there have been no cuts to health care" and that programs are being "eliminated because they're no longer needed…." are contradicted by the voices of patients and their families and by the statistics on life expectancy and morbidity for residents of northern Ontario, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) says.

Mr. Thibeault's comments, says Michael Hurley the president of OCHU, "came despite the fact, that the budget froze funding for Health Sciences North and surrounding hospitals for the 4th straight year, fueling a new round of significant cuts to patient care and beds and services."

Hurley and Sudbury hospital worker and OCHU northeastern vice-president, Sharon Richer, will hold a media conference on Monday, July 27, 2015 (10 a.m. start time) at 885 Regent St, Suite 3-11A to provide an update on a study that chronicled the experiences of hundreds of patients and their families with the province's health system.

Pushed Out of Northern Hospitals, Abandoned at Home: After Twenty Years of Budget Cuts, Ontario's Health System is Failing Patients, looks at the impact of the Liberal government's hospital funding policies on northern Ontario patients and their families. The original report was published in 2014 and has been updated for the north.

"Sudbury and northern Ontario overall are more affected by hospital cutbacks, which are exacerbated by the challenges of geography and by poverty and health status. As one of only four Liberal MPP's from northern Ontario, Mr. Thibeault has a responsibility to advocate for increased funding for hospitals and to stand up for the patients and their families," says Hurley.

Sudbury District Health Unit data, which includes health information for the Sudbury/Manitoulin area, indicates greater rates of obesity, arthritis and high blood pressure than the Ontario average.  The area population, also experiences 20 per cent more deaths per 100,000 people, with much higher rates of death due to lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases and suicide. Suicide is responsible for as many deaths within the catchment area, as breast or prostate cancer.

The data also shows that local residents are hospitalized much more frequently that the average Ontarian, and that there is a higher incidence of hospitalization due to injury.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: Michael Hurley, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU): 416-884-0770; Sharon Richer, OCHU, Northeast Ontario Vice-President: 705-280-0911

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ochu.on.ca

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