GLEENGARRY, ON – Low staff morale and high staff turnover rates at Glengarry Memorial Hospital are creating internal turmoil at the hospital and taking a toll on patient care, warned the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

“The situation at the hospital should not be ignored by Ontario’s health minister and we are again urging him to intervene and investigate what’s going on at the hospital,” says OCHU president Michael Hurley.

OCHU is the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents registered practical nurses, clerical, cleaning, dietary and other staff at the Glengarry hospital.

CUPE is not alone in writing and publicly calling on the health minister to look into why 116 staff at the hospital have resigned since 2007. The mayors of two communities and the area Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) have also raised concerns about the challenging situation at Glengarry Memorial, with both the hospital administration and the health minister.

The hospital has brought in a company to survey staff, but nothing has changed, says Hurley. “We asked Dr. Hoskins, our health minister to send in an independent investigator. But there has been no response to the valid concerns that we and others have raised.”

A survey of CUPE members at Glengarry Memorial showed 70 per cent of staff feel that people have left because of the management of the hospital and 50 per cent would leave if another opportunity presented itself. Of greatest concern, says Hurley, is the fact that 47 per cent of respondents feel that the quality of patient care is not a priority at the hospital.

“The minister has an obligation to investigate complaints about a toxic work environment at the Glengarry Memorial Hospital, which we believe affects the quality of patient care,” says Hurley. “Health care workers are under enormous stress. They are working hard to try to deliver high quality patient care. When they speak up to call attention to a situation they believe to be hazardous to patients, the minister should listen carefully. That Dr. Hoskins hasn’t acted, is just inexplicable.”

For further information:

Michael Hurley
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU)

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications