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OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data indicates that hospitals in the rest of Canada receive 25.3 per cent more funding from provincial governments than hospitals in Ontario. Ontario’s Liberal government is underfunding the care of patients at Ottawa hospitals by hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The gap in provincial funding has resulted in significant service and bed cuts and over 600 staff positions eliminated, at Ottawa area hospitals including at the Ottawa, Elisabeth-Bruyere and the Montfort hospitals, says Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

Hurley along with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4000 president Rob Driskell (Ottawa Hospital) and CUPE 4540 president Brian Grant (Elisabeth-Bruyere Hospital) will hold a media conference Friday, November 27 at 10:00 a.m. to disclose how much provincial funding for Ottawa area hospitals would need to increase in order to reach the average hospital funding level in the rest of Canada. The media conference will be held at 1053 Carling Avenue, outside the Carling entrance to the Ottawa Hospital.

“The rain of cuts in Ottawa in acute care, rehab and complex continuing care can be traced to the decision to lag hospital expenditures by 25 per cent relative to the other provinces. Among provinces and territories, Ontario’s Liberal government is uniquely financing a huge cut in corporate taxes by slicing billions from direct hospital patient care,” says Hurley.

Ontario’s Auditor General cites estimates that suggest healthcare needs a 5.8 per cent annual increase to meet basic cost pressures. In the past, Ontario closely followed Canada-wide hospital spending patterns. “But Ontario is trailing since the Liberals were elected,” says Driskell. With provincial funding at its current low level, “hospitals will have to cut more programs and staff. Many more patients will be discharged too soon and not provided with the care they need. It’s time for the provincial Liberals to increase hospital funding.”

The CIHI data shows that the decline in hospital spending has accelerated since 2012, when the Liberals started cutting. “Effectively budgets have been cut by 20 per cent in real terms over four years. At our hospital, the cut in funding has hurt care for frail elderly patients and those with terminal illnesses and disabilities. More cuts are coming unless our community stands up and says no and unless elected representatives like Hon. Bob Chiarelli defend our hospitals,” says Grant.

For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley
President Ontario Council of Hospital Unions

Rob Driskell
President CUPE 4000 – Ottawa Hospital

Brian Grant
President CUPE 4540 – Elisabeth-Bruyere

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications