LEAMINGTON, ON, Oct. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The province is losing another 15 registered nurse positions and another hospital service following the decision by Leamington District Memorial Hospital's board of directors to close its obstetrics and gynecological unit next March.
"Despite a 700-signature petition to preserve this vital service for the people of Leamington, the board has sided with the recommendations in a pricey third-party study commissioned by the Erie-St. Clair LHIN and has opted to close the OB/GYN unit," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Again, we are seeing health care decisions driven by dollars, not our patients' needs."
Haslam-Stroud notes that 15 RNs – full-time and part-time – are receiving lay-off notices. Those in the community requiring these services will be forced to travel to Windsor. The board says the decision is driven by finances, noting that the services cost $1.5 million yearly to provide, but provincial funding is just $700,000.
"ONA has been raising the alarm about the underfunding of hospitals for four years now," notes Haslam-Stroud. "While the intention may be to send more care into the community, depriving our hospitals of much-needed funding to provide services is untenable."
Haslam-Stroud urges the community to voice their objections about the service and staff cuts to their local MPPs and the province.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association