Patients at risk with huge cuts and contracting of cleaning at Sudbury
Regional Hospital union charges

SUDBURY, ON, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - The union representing 1,000 nurses, cleaners, maintenance, clerical, dietary and support staff at Sudbury Regional Hospital charged today that the cut of 41,000 cleaning hours and an expansion of the contracting-out of cleaning will lead to a steep increase in the rates of hospital acquired infections and put patients at risk. Hospital acquired infections are a leading cause of death in Canada.

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president Michael Hurley, says " the hospital has been struggling to get its acquired infection rates down. They are above the provincial average. Cutting 41,000 cleaning hours means infections like C Difficile, VRE and MRSA will spread to more patients. Of equal concern is an expansion of the contracting-out of cleaning at the hospital. Contracted out cleaning has been identified as an unsafe and dangerous practice and has been banned in hospitals in Scotland and Wales as a result."

Dave Shelefontiuk, President of CUPE Local 1623, called on Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci to speak up for his community. " Sudbury Regional Hospital has an $18 million deficit and under the McGuinty government's rules, that's not allowed. But recently the province found $14 million of the $16 million deficit for the Niagara Health System, and at Cornwall Community Hospital $5 million of an $8 million deficit. Mr. Bartolucci needs to be more effective for Sudbury."

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Dave Shelefontiuk, President, CUPE 1623, (705) 929-8457; Lise Morrisette, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Local 1623, (705) 566-7878; Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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