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Campaign to advocate for elderly patients pushed out of hospital while acutely ill or denied acute care services they desperately need.

NORTH BAYON – Representatives of the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions OCHU/CUPE, are in the midst of a provincial campaign that will land in North Bay, and Mattawaon September 28. The campaign will advocate for elderly patients who are pushed out of hospital while they are acutely ill or who are denied acute care services they need.

Patients are also being denied access to services like speech-language pathology (for assistance with swallowing and speech) following a stroke because they are discharged earlier than they should be, without treatment or the appropriate follow-up.

Ontario has the fewest number of acute hospital beds of any developed economy in the world. Botswana, Panama and Albania have more hospital beds to population than Ontario. Ontario’s hospital occupancy rate of 97.9 per cent results in many patients, primarily elderly, being discharged prematurely, some to unregulated retirement homes, with deadly consequences.

A recent study also indicates that the elderly are less likely to be transported by paramedics to a regional trauma centre in Ontario after a heart attack or stroke and as a result have a significantly higher death rate than if they were taken to and received care at a major hospital.

A hotline has been established for patients or their family members to call to report their experiences. The hotline number is 1-888-599-0770.

Media conference details for Wednesday, September 28, 2011:

10:00 – 11:00am                Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23, 150 First St West, North Bay, ON


2:00 – 3:00pm                      Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 254, 360 Herdman St, Mattawa, ON


For more information:

Mary Cook, Executive Director
Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists             

Michael Hurley, President 
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE