August 22, 2018 4:28 pm

Hospital union says dealing with hallway medicine, at odds with Ontario government’s fiscal promises

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions warns of bed closures and job cuts in Hamilton hospitals as a result of the Ontario government's contradictory campaign promises.

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There’s a warning from the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) that the public health system cannot sustain any further cuts and address the issue of “hallway medicine.”

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) has released a report called, “Hallway Medicine: It Can Be Fixed,” as it draws attention to what it says is a “contradiction” in promises made by Ontario’s new government.

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READ MORE: Pressure on Ontario to ‘cut the cuts’ on hospital funding

OCHU/CUPE president Michael Hurley says they’ve crunched the numbers and have concluded that the Progressive Conservatives can’t achieve a promise to address Ontario’s hospital bed shortage while also cutting public sector spending by four per cent.

READ MORE: Canadian health care struggles to find a cure for hallway medicine

Hurley adds that their report predicts the loss of up to 201 beds and 1,144 hospital employees in Hamilton alone, if the Doug Ford government achieves its promised tax cuts, public sector “efficiencies” and balanced budgets.

Hurley says the union is urging the government to address its “moral obligation” to end “hallway medicine,” where patients spend days on stretchers in hallways waiting for admission to hospital.

He notes that the system “can’t sustain further cuts,” is already suffering from a “lack of capacity” and “not reflective of a health-care system that is meeting its obligations.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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