KINGSTON, ON, Sept. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Professional and support staff at Providence Care are asking the province to "rethink" cuts to mental health beds at the former Kingston Psychiatric Hospital.
Hitting the sidewalk today, the workers and their supporters are upset about deep cuts to mental health services offered at the former Kingston Psychiatric Hospital.
Workers at Providence Care have been told that nearly one in five workers will lose their jobs in the new year as part of downsizing for the new $350 million public-private partnership hospital. The new hospital will open with 40 fewer mental health beds - about a quarter of the beds presently available to patients in the Kingston area.
"From Canada's police chiefs to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, experts are calling for more mental health services, not less," says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the 130,000 member Ontario Public Service Employees Union. "The Wynne government continues to follow the bed recommendations from the Harris era while neglecting to adequately support alternative community based care."
Workers and their union are asking the province to place a hold on plans for the new hospital - including the impending layoffs and bed cuts -- and do a fresh assessment of mental health needs for the Kingston community.
They are also asking that the province take another look at its decision to develop the new Kingston hospital as a public-private partnership.
For further information:
Rick Janson at 416-525-3324.