Hospital staff begin postcard campaign to call on province to fully cover the
deficit of the Brockville General Hospital

BROCKVILLE, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - The Ontario government should fully fund the deficit of the Brockville General Hospital, hospital staff will request today, as they kick off a postcard campaign aimed at the provincial government. CUPE Local 5666, which is sponsoring the campaign represents 150 nurses, clerical, maintenance, cleaning, dietary and support staff at the Brockville General Hospital. The campaign will escalate, with a public meeting and a rally at the hospital on March 29.

CUPE Local 5666 President Martha Godin explains that the campaign will tell the province that "the Brockville General Hospital has a deficit because the population in its catchment area is aging and using its services more frequently. Ontario has the most efficient hospital system in Canada, with the shortest lengths of stay and the fewest numbers of beds and staff to population of any province. The hospital is not being funded to cover the increased use of its services. The answer is not cuts, which will make the hospital less efficient, but real funding increases and a solution to the deficit problem."

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions President Michael Hurley states that "the closure of 10% of Brockville General Hospital's beds is an enormous loss for a small community. This is part of the McGuinty government's plan to gradually close down hospital services in rural, northern and small town Ontario. We are urging the community to act now, while Brockville still has 142 hospital beds."

Hurley also states that "when the Minister points to community services to pick up the slack from the closed hospital beds, she should re-read 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. Homecare, which will receive these patients is delivering fewer services and has a 57% annual turnover of staff. Cuts to services have been announced in this LHIN."

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Martha Godin, President, CUPE Local 5666: (613) 340-4495; Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions: (416) 884-0770

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