Surgery Cuts at Trenton only the start, as the Health Care Tomorrow project prepares the ground for the closure of hospital services in smaller communities, union charges

OTTAWA, Aug. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Cuts in surgery rumoured to come in 2016 are only the beginning as the Health Care Tomorrow project ( a collaboration of Brockville General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, Kingston General Hospital, Perth Smiths Falls District Hospital, Providence Care and Quinte Health Care ) prepares the ground for cuts to emergency and acute care services in smaller communities, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE charged today.

"Consultations held across the catchment area of these hospitals earlier this year promoted the idea that smaller communities should not expect a full range of hospital services. The latest announcement suggests that the push to integrate these institutions and cut, consolidate and privatize programs and services will intensify and will do that without meaningful public consultation, " said Louis Rodrigues, First vice-president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE.

"The overarching framework for the Health Care Tomorrow project is sustainability. Our members, who work to serve the public in our region's hospitals, do not accept that the province of Ontario cannot sustain viable hospitals in communities like Trenton, Brockville, Perth/Smith's Falls or Picton. The major problem these hospitals have is that the province is choking them of funds. 4 years of a funding freeze have cut budgets by 20% in real terms and left our hospitals starving for resources. The province of Ontario needs to fund our hospitals properly," said Mr. Rodrigues.

"Entrusting consideration of our most valued public service to regional bureaucrats under the direction of the Ministry of Health and shutting out the public and the workforce will simply not fly as a planning method for our communities, " said Mr. Rodrigues ( also the president of CUPE Local 1974, which represents over 1,000 staff at Kingston General Hospital ). " The public and the workforce will strongly resist the rationalization of services that is coming. "

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: Louis Rodrigues, First vice-president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions: 613-531-1319


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