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Kingston – Increasing outbreaks of superbugs and recent ward closures at southern Ontario hospitals have prompted the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to begin a province-wide mobile hospital room tour to demonstrate how vital cleaners are to controlling hospital infection rates and to activate a 1-888 hospital-acquired infection hotline.

Hospital-acquired infections are the fourth largest killer in Canada. Yet the provincial Liberal government is still refusing to mandate that hospitals publicly report rates of acquired infections. In the U.S., six states have mandatory reporting of hospital-acquired infections and legislation is pending in 29 more.

Meticulous cleaning of hospitals is key to containing hospital-acquired infections, which killed between 8,000 and 12,000 Canadians last year. The Ontario health minister has forced hospitals to find “efficiencies” by cutting hospital cleaning staff among others.

CUPE will announce the 1-888 hospital infection hotline number and provide a visual demonstration on effective hospital cleaning using a mobile hospital room display on Monday, July 11, 2005, in Kingston.

WHO: Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE)
President, Michael Hurley

Louis Rodrigues, Health Care Worker
WHAT: Media Conference/Mobile Hospital Room Tour
A mobile hospital room display will be set-up to demonstrate the effective
and thorough cleaning required to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
WHERE: Memorial Hall — Kingston City Hall — 216 Ontario Street, Kingston, ON
WHEN: Monday, July 11, 2005 — 10:00 a.m.

For information, please contact:

Michael Hurley President, OCHU/CUPE (416) 884-0770
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774