Hospital staff cannot continue to deliver high quality services in an
environment of "perpetual reform"

TORONTO, March 9 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is undermining the most efficient hospital system in Canada and laying the groundwork for a private hospital system, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions charged today.

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE President Michael Hurley stated today that "hospital employees have been working in an environment of restructuring and reorganization for the last 30 years. The announcement of 'perpetual reform' in the throne speech sends a chill through the workforce. It's like we are working in a healthcare system run by Leon Trotsky with an MBA."

"Creating a competitive market in the hospital sector will undermine the most efficient hospital system in Canada. The changed funding for Ontario's hospitals sets the stage for rural and northern hospital closures. Productivity bonuses for hospital managers for meeting targets set by the Ministry of Health will drive a system focused on price, rather than quality," Hurley charged.

"CUPE's hospital local union representatives will meet next month to discuss how to respond to the devastating announcements in the throne speech. I believe that hospital employees will react proactively to defend their patients from these 'reforms'," Hurley stated.

Ontario's hospital system is the most efficient in Canada, with the fewest numbers of beds to population, the least numbers of staff per patient and the shortest lengths of stay.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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