Hospital Room Highlighting Risks of Hospital Acquired Infections Kicks off
Northern Ontario Tour in Sudbury

SUDBURY, ON, March 4 /CNW/ - The union representing 1,000 nurses, cleaners, maintenance, clerical, dietary and support staff at Sudbury Regional Hospital will unveil a portable hospital room used to highlight the risks of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Hospital acquired infections are a leading cause of death in Canada. It is estimated that some 12,000 Canadians die from HAIs, about 5,000 of those are in Ontario.

CUPE Local 1623 President Dave Shelefontiuk is hosting the northern Ontario tour. The room will go on to visit North Bay, Mattawa, Espanola, Blind River, Cochrane, Hearst, Matheson, Manitoulin Island, Little Current, Richard's Landing, Sault Ste. Marie, Geraldton, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Fort Frances, Emo and Kenora, once spring arrives.

Mr. Shelefontiuk says, "starting the tour in Sudbury is very timely because the Sudbury Regional Hospital has just announced cuts of 41,000 hours from its cleaning budget. The hospital has been struggling to get its acquired infection rates down which are above the provincial average. These cuts mean infections like C Difficile, VRE and MRSA will spread to more patients. Of equal concern is an expansion of the contracting-out of cleaning at the hospital. Contracted out cleaning has been identified as an unsafe and dangerous practice and has been banned in all hospitals in Scotland and Wales as a result."

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Dave Shelefontiuk, President, CUPE 1623, (705) 929-8457; Lise Morrisette, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Local 1623, (705) 566-7878; Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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