Clear now that staff, services at risk in hospital peer review

PETERBOROUGH, ON, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The Central East LHIN has deliberately downplayed the potential impact of the hospital peer review process in Peterborough, says the union representing 540 employees at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. And the peer review process will miss the real reason PRHC has a deficit.

CUPE Local 1943 President Karen Ward reacted to recent statements by the Southlake hospital CEO, Dan Carriere who will head the peer review. "Mr. Carriere has had the honesty to say that staff cuts are on the line because 75% of hospital budgets fund staff. You cannot cut $29 million without cutting deeply into services. Peterborough and surrounding communities have a right to expect that the LHIN will tell them the truth, not mislead them, as the have done, about the nature of this exercise, which is clearly about budget cutting."

Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, stated that "Peterborough Regional Health Centre has a large deficit because an aging population is using its services in greater and greater numbers. Ontario's hospital system is the most efficient hospital system in Canada, with more acute patients than the other provinces, fewer beds and staff than the other provinces, and a shorter length of stay than the other provinces. The answer is not cuts which will make the hospital less efficient, but additional funding, in recognition of the real problem. Mr. Leal, MPP, needs to convince his government to come through for Peterborough."

Diane Crough, Central Eastern Ontario Vice-president for the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions stated that "Already we have 1,000 postcards signed calling on Mr. Leal to work to defend our community hospital and to open up the peer review process to the community. So far we can't see that he is listening."

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Karen Ward, President, CUPE Local 1943: (705) 742-5326; Diane Crough, Vice-president, Central Ontario, OCHU: (705) 745-3511; Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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