Hamilton, Ont. – The McGuinty Liberals are proposing massive changes to the way hospital, long-term care, home care and community social services are funded and delivered in Ontario. The government intends to pass legislation that will create 14 new regional health structures called Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) across the province. Through the LHINs, the province intends to merge, downsize and regionalize the funding and delivery of health and some social services.
The proposed LHINs cover large geographic areas, and the Liberals readily admit that the health and social services currently provided in each community will be spread out over the entire LHIN area. The government calls the merging of services, “integration.” But health and social service workers from the Hamilton area are cautioning that the changes and “integration,” proposed through the LHINs, will compromise the quality of care and diminish access to local health services.
“Merging and integrating more health services will pose incredible barriers for patients as they will have to travel further to get the medical help they used to get at their local hospital,” says Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario.
On November 16, Hurley will be joined by Hamilton area hospital, long-term care, home care and community social service workers at a media conference in Hamilton to highlight the radical changes being proposed by the McGuinty Liberals under the LHINs.
Michael Hurley, president, OCHU/CUPE
Jan Ouzas, president, CUPE 4800 (Hamilton Health Sciences)
Media Conference — Proposed changes to health services under a LHINs system
Hamilton Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street, Hamilton, ON
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 — 12:00 Noon
For more information, please contact:
President, CUPE 4800