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Community meeting this Thursday night is a call for action.

Hamilton, ON – With the cost of a hospital stay well below the national average and documented higher than average rates of illness, hospitalizations and emergency wait times, Hamilton’s hospitals are still shaving millions of dollars and cutting services and care, year after year.

Many in the community are asking “why are there all these care, service and job cuts at local hospitals? All the indicators are that there should be more services and hospital care available in Hamilton, not less,” says Michael Hurley the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

According to recently released data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Hamilton has higher than average rates of heart attacks, diabetes, obesity and mood disorders. However, the cost of a standard hospital stay at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joseph’s Hospital, $5,470 and $5,019 respectively, is below the national average of $5,632.

Following years of hospital bed cuts, overcrowding and long wait times in emergency are well-documented.

“There are many people in Hamilton who are directly affected by the province’s underfunding of local hospitals. Clearly patients here have above the norm health care needs and we want to hear their stories and advocate for increased funding for Hamilton hospitals with them,” says Hurley, one of several guest speakers at a community meeting Thursday (June 18) evening (7 p.m.) at The Church of Resurrection, 435 Mohawk Road West.

McMaster University professor, Dr. Gordon Guyatt, named Canada’s top health researcher in 2013, will also join the panel discussion tomorrow night.

For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley
President, OCHU/CUPE

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications