Hospital budget freeze protestors sound off in northern Ontario

Some health care groups plan to lobby a provincial pre-budget committee to end a freeze on hospital budgets.

With budget freezes in place at hospitals for the 4th year in a row, the OCHU is keeping up the pressure

Michael Hurley is president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

Some health care groups plan to lobby a provincial pre-budget committee to end a freeze on hospital budgets.

Michael Hurley, who is with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said nurses' hours in Sudbury have been cut, among other measures.

"There have also been cutbacks in complex continuing care. There have been cutbacks in psychiatric care. [There has been] the closure of those services and no significant investment in the community," he said.

He said there's a need for investment in health care to prevent patients from being discharged too early.

"What we're seeing recently is a spike in re-admission rates in communities, like Sudbury and North Bay," Hurley said.

"[These communities are] reflecting what are experiences of patients who have been sent away from hospital before they were well enough [to be discharged].)

Hurley said hospitals in the province are in the fourth year of a five-year funding freeze.

The committee will be in Sault Ste. Marie today, then Thunder Bay.

The Sault and Area Health Coalition also plans to rally today.

Once again, Health Sciences North is in the public eye for reports of patients recuperating in beds in the hallways. (CBC)


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