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

The gap in provincial funding has resulted in the closure of mental health beds at the Kirkwood site, the elimination of 87,000 hours of nursing and direct care and cuts to in-patient psychiatry; day surgery; surgery; obstetrics; oncology; critical care and the emergency department and the recent downgrading of nurses in renal dialysis at HSN.

“The rain of cuts in Sudbury in acute care, mental health 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 Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

Hurley along with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1623 president Dave Shelefontiuk and Sharon Richer OCHU VP will hold a media conference this Thursday, November 19 at 11 a.m. to reveal how much provincial funding for Health Sciences North would need to increase in order to reach the average hospital funding level in the rest Canada. The media conference will be held at 885 Regent Street (Sudbury) Suite 311A.

Ontario’s Auditor General cites estimates that suggest hospitals need a 5.8 per cent annual increase to meet basic cost pressures. In the past, Ontario closely followed Canada-wide spending patterns. “But Ontario is trailing since the Liberals were elected,” says Shelefontiuk. “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. “

“With funding cuts in Ontario for the next 2 years, hospitals will 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,” says Richer.

For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley
President OCHU

Sharon Richer
OCHU Regional Vice-President

Dave Shelefontiuk
President CUPE 1623

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications