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SMITHS FALLS, ONA media conference is planned for Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 10 a.m. in Smiths Falls to release Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data (from 2009-2014) that shows patient readmissions at Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, are spiking.

“This increase in readmission rates,” says John Jackson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2119 ― which represents staff at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital ― “reflects the impacts of four years of deep provincial funding cuts to our hospital. Without enough beds and staff, some patients are sent home before they are well and larger numbers are returning to hospital because they were too sick to have been discharged in the first place.”

Jackson will be joined at the media conference at the Royal Canadian Legion, 7 Main St. E, Smiths Falls, by Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) president Michael Hurley.

According to the data, Ontario hospital inpatient days have fallen 13.4 per cent over the last four years. In the rest of Canada (excluding Quebec) inpatient days, per-capita have actually increased 8.4 per cent over the last four years.

Real funding cuts for hospitals, shortened inpatient stays, keeping patients out of hospitals altogether and downsizing hospital capacity are the focus of the Liberals’ health reforms, says Hurley. “There is a direct correlation, we believe, between the provincial budget cuts to the hospital and these readmission rates.” 

Readmissions also represent a huge cost to the healthcare system, Hurley says, because these cases typically require much longer stays. “The Liberals have cut hospital budgets by 20 per cent over the last four years in real terms and now the hospital system, with the fewest beds available in the developed world is failing to properly heal an increasing number of people. The province needs to fund its hospitals properly.”

For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley
President, (OCHU/CUPE)

John Jackson
President, CUPE 2119

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications