Ontario should pay all costs for woman who needed emergency transport in northern Ontario to safely have her baby and apologize'-hospital union

OTTAWA, Aug. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Amy Savill, an Alberta woman who was forced to take an air ambulance to Sudbury to safely have her baby because Timmins hospital was not equipped to deal with premature births is covered by the Canada Health Act's portability provisions and should not be charged $30,000 for air transport, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE said today. The story was reported in the Toronto Star.

"The $30,000 charge is probably illegal and should not be applied.  The Ontario government is asking this woman to pay for its inability to provide birthing services in a major Ontario community. Ms. Savill was clearly entitled to hospital services free of charge and if we can't or won't provide them in one location we must move the patient to the centre that can," says Michael Hurley the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

" Obstetrics are a focus of major hospital cuts in the province of Ontario. Timmins has greatly reduced hospital capacity as a result of recent bed and service cuts. Air ambulance services have been privatized. Northern Ontario is particularly hard hit by the hospital cutbacks because of its geography. Ms. Savill simply had the misfortune to be at the centre of all of these factors. Ontario owes her an apology and should cover these costs, " Hurley said.

An OCHU report, Pushed Out of Northern Hospitals, Abandoned at Home: After Twenty Years of Budget Cuts, Ontario's Health System is Failing Patients, that looked at the impact of the Liberal government's hospital funding policies, found that the north has felt the brunt of hospital budget cuts most. The report was being released in 25 northern communities in July 2015.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU): 819-456-2159


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