TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2019 /CNW/ - Already struggling with a summer of record-high emergency room (ER) wait times, increasing hallway health care and the flu season in the offing, how will Toronto's hospitals fare under the strain of a $1Billion more in cuts that the Conservatives have signaled making?
At a media conference Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 11 a.m. (corner of Bond and Queen St. East, beside St. Michael's Hospital) the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario, will release data that projects how many Toronto hospital staff and beds would be cut under the Ford PC plans.
"Since the Conservatives were elected in the summer of 2018, things have gotten significantly worse in Ontario as far as hospital over-capacity, ER wait times, hallway medicine and the number of seniors with complex conditions waiting for long-term care beds, are concerned," says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
Despite PC announcements for new long-term care beds they say will alleviate hallway health care, the LTC umbrella association reports that an additional 1,087 Ontarians are on the waiting list for a bed. That's an increase of 3.2 per cent in the last year. Also, very alarming is that wait times in ERs increased 13.2 per cent in the first year of the Conservative government.
Further, Hurley says, the PCs are "making matters worse by cutting hospital capacity while using a new round of health system restructuring to distract Ontarians from the lack of hospital beds and care."
The OCHU/CUPE report 'Protecting What Matters Most' looks at health ministry spending restraint outlined in the 2019 Ontario budget while factoring inflation, population and aging growth cost pressures.
The data being released Thursday morning incorporates the recent budget and economic review of Ontario's Financial Accountability Office (FAO) which shows that the government plans $8 billion in health care cuts by 2023-24. For Toronto, that means $1Billion more in unannounced hospital and other health care cuts.
SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
For further information: Michael Hurley, President, OCHU/CUPE, 416-884-0770; Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300