Leamington District Memorial Hospital Making Cuts to Balance Budget: Registered nurses say care will suffer

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the union
representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, says
Leamington District Memorial Hospital has informed its staff of bed closures
and the likelihood of registered nursing cuts to come.
    The hospital has a budget deficit and plans to close two ICU beds, six
rehabilitation beds, move its obstetrics department to another floor where it
will be part of a mix of medical-surgery beds and integrate some services with
Windsor hospitals.
    "These moves follow a pattern that registered nurses know only too well,"
says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President. "We know that registered nursing
jobs will soon be cut, and that the hospital will try to tell the community
that patient care won't be affected. But nurses know that every RN job cut
represents 1,950 hours per year of patient care, and that research clearly
shows that our patients will suffer a 7 per cent increased risk of developing
complications and even dying when workloads for RNs increase."
    "This is just the beginning of what's sure to be more announcements of
cuts to care," says Haslam-Stroud. "We have seen hundreds of registered
nursing positions cut in recent weeks, and they're only the tip of the
iceberg. The residents of Leamington need to be aware that they'll not be
spared from the deterioration of health care in their community."
    ONA has launched a new campaign to make it easy for Ontarians to express
their disapproval of registered nursing cuts. People can visit
www.cuttingnursescuttingcare.ca to learn more and send an e-mail to their MPP.

    ONA is the union representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health
professionals working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health,
the community, clinics and industry. ONA is celebrating 35 years of nursing
advocacy - a proud past, a powerful future.

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240

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