Vital services cut at Northumberland Hills Hospital - union calls on MPP to
deliver for his communities

COBOURG, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - Vital services will be lost at the Northumberland Hills Hospital as a result of dramatic cuts to beds, services and staff, the union representing employees at the hospital charged today.

Michael Hurley president of CUPE's 30,000 member Ontario Council of Hospital Unions stated" the Hospital is cutting out patient diabetic care, non-urgent care out patient rehab services and closing 26 beds. That's 23% of total beds. These cuts are the most dramatic, relative to the size of the hospital that we have seen in Ontario this year."

Michael Hurley, stated that "Northumberland Hills Hospital has a deficit because an aging population is using its services in greater numbers. Ontario's hospital system is the most efficient hospital system in Canada, with more acute patients than the other provinces, fewer beds and staff than the other provinces, and the shortest length of stay. The answer is not cuts, which will make the hospital less efficient, but additional funding, in recognition of the real problem. Mr. Rinaldi, MPP for Quinte Northumberland, needs to convince his government to come through for these communities as they came did for Niagara."

The Ministry of Health announced in February that $14 million of the $16 million deficit of the Niagara Health System's hospitals will be covered.

Peggy Smith, President of CUPE Local 2628, stated that "We have printed postcards calling on Mr. Rinaldi to defend our community hospital. We will be working to get people to sign them over the next week. Other MPPs have been effective for their hospitals. We need our MPP's help to save services."

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Peggy Smith, President, CUPE Local 2628: (905) 376-7876; Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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