Media conference: town hall meeting organized on nursing cuts at Almonte General Hospital

ALMONTE, ON, April 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Staff at Almonte General Hospital represented by CUPE will hold a media conference outside the hospital at 10:00 a.m. on April 16 to announce the next steps in the campaign to protest cuts to registered practical nursing staff at the hospital.

10 registered practical nurse positions are being eliminated at the hospital to be replaced with personal support workers.

Registered practical nurses complete a 2-year community college program. They are fully trained nurses and, among many other skills, can do physical assessment, wound care, manage IV's and dispense medications.

Almonte Hospital is in the 4th year of a 5-year funding freeze, imposed by the provincial Liberal government. Ontario's Auditor General has estimated that hospitals need a 5.8% funding increase each year to meet their costs, which are rising faster than inflation due to the costs of drugs, medical technologies and doctors' salaries. The 4-year funding freeze has cut Almonte's budget by 24%. 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 freeze.

"We have held 2 very successful rallies and we are planning a community meeting on May 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Almonte Legion. We will also be organizing a regional rally against the hospital cutbacks in Ottawa in June", says Linda Melbrew, president of CUPE local 3022, which represents staff at the hospital.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: Linda Melbrew, President, CUPE Local 3022, 613-314-5283; Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU), 416-884-0770; Louis Rodrigues, Vice-president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE, 613-531-1319


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