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OTTAWA – The president of Local 4000 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) expressed profound dismay today at The Ottawa Hospital’s move to cut yet more patient services and dump sick and frail patients onto an overstretched and under-resourced community care system.

“The Ottawa Hospital is abandoning patients with no thought as to how they will fare in the community care,” said Rob Driskell, President of CUPE 4000, the health care and community union. “It’s unconscionable.” Driskell quoted the hospital’s CEO as saying that he is cutting services so that they can be delivered in the community.

“Has Dr. Kitts read the papers this year? Thousands of Ottawa-area residents have lost care from community care access centres. Thousands more are on their waiting lists for care. The waiting lists for outpatient clinics are enormous,” said Driskell.

“The Ottawa Hospital’s CEO is selling snake-oil to patients and their families when he says that patients will have access to community care. And there is no way that it can justify cutting another 85 positions.”

Driskell went on to accuse Dr. Kitts of abandoning The Ottawa Hospital’s patients because “the CEO doesn’t have the nerve to stand up to the government and demand that it fund the hospital adequately and fund proper care for patients.”

The announcement today by CBC Ottawa came as a shock to the CUPE local, which had already undergone a series of job losses earlier this year.

“If Dr. Kitts won’t stand up to the government and tell them, ‘We need provide more services and we need more staff,’ then it is up to the workers to do it.

“That is why CUPE 4000 will launch its own campaign to stop the austerity. We will be calling on the government to put millions in funding back into our hospitals, beginning with a massive rally on June 12 at Ottawa area MPP Bob Chiarelli’s office,” said Driskell.

CUPE members and their allies will stand up for The Ottawa Hospital patients.”

For more information:

Rob Driskell
President, CUPE Local 4000

Nathalie Stringer
CUPE Representative

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications