HEARST, ON, March 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Unions and community groups will hold a media conference on March 30 at 10 a.m. at the Public Library in New Liskeard to announce a public meeting (April 8) and a major regional rally (April 17) against hospital cutbacks in northern Ontario.
The hospital in New Liskeard is cutting services, including OR's, in the face of a 5-year funding freeze imposed by the provincial Liberal government. Hospitals need a 6% increase in funding each year just to keep pace with their costs, which are rising faster than the general rate of inflation due to the costs of drugs, medical technologies and doctors' salaries. The freeze has cut Temiskaming hospital's budget by 24% in real terms. Ontario hospitals were already the most efficient hospitals in the country with the fewest beds and staff and the shortest lengths of stay going into the budget freeze.
"Across northern Ontario, hospitals are aggressively cutting services in the face of the funding freeze. In New Liskeard, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, North Bay and Sudbury and in every other community, operating rooms and beds are closing, services are being axed and staff laid off" says Sharon Richer, northern Ontario vice-president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions.
"Together with the Ontario Healthcare Coalition, we are planning an escalating campaign across northern Ontario to push the provincial government to fund hospitals like ours properly. A town hall meeting will be held in New Liskeard on April 8 at 7 p.m. at the Legion to help plan a major regional rally against the hospital cutbacks at the office of Sudbury Liberal MPP Glenn Thibeault on April 17" says Arlene Hearn, president of CUPE local 3022, which represents many staff at the hospital.
SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)
For further information: Arlene Hearn, President, C.U.P.E. Local 904: 705-647-8501; Sharon Richer, Northern Ontario vice-president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE: 705-280-0911