MPP's call for regionalization of hospital services profoundly threatens the
Cornwall Community Hospital

CORNWALL, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - Liberal MPP Jim Brownell's call for the regionalization of hospital services is at best naïve and ignores the threat this poses to the Cornwall Community, CUPE Local 7811, which represents 600 nurses, clerical, maintenance, cleaning, dietary and support staff at the Cornwall Community Hospital said today.

CUPE Cornwall National Representative Cidalia Ribeiro states that "the plan of the Liberal government is to gradually close down all but the most basic hospital services in communities like Cornwall and Winchester and Alexandria. Regionalization means that most hospital services will wind up in large communities like Ottawa and Kingston. This message was loud and clear in the throne speech, Mr. Brownell represents Cornwall, not an Ottawa riding. Cornwall residents have a right to expect a community of our size will have a fully functioning hospital."

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions President Michael Hurley stated that "Mr. Brownell has deliberately overstated provincial spending on hospitals. Hospital spending has only increased by 24% over the last 6 years, in contrast to spending on physicians, which is up 57%, including an additional unbudgeted $700,000,000 in November 2009. Finding the additional $3,000,000 to cover the Cornwall Community Hospital's deficit will not break the provincial government. Ontario's hospitals are the most efficient in Canada. But this government is gradually closing hospital services down."

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Cidalia Ribeiro: cell (416) 795-4293; Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions: (416) 884-0770

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