KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 25, 2015) - A media conference is planned for Monday, September 28, 2015 at 1 p.m. in Kingston to release Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data (from 2009-2014) that shows patient readmissions at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) are spiking. The hospital's readmission rate is higher than its comparators and higher than the province-wide average of 9.1 per cent in 2014.

"This increase in readmission rates," says Mike Rodrigues, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1974 ― which represents staff at KGH ― "reflects the impacts of four years of deep provincial funding cuts to KGH. Without enough beds and staff, some patients are sent home before they are well and larger numbers are returning to hospital because they were too sick to have been discharged in the first place."

Rodrigues will be joined at the media conference at Kingston City Hall (216 Ontario St.) in the Memorial Room, by Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) president Michael Hurley.

According to the data, Ontario hospital inpatient days have fallen 13.4 per cent over the last four years. In the rest of Canada (excluding Quebec) inpatient days, per-capita have actually increased 8.4 per cent over the last four years.

Real funding cuts for hospitals, shortened inpatient stays, keeping patients out of hospitals altogether and downsizing hospital capacity are the focus of the Liberals' health reforms, says Hurley. "There is a direct correlation, we believe, between the provincial budget cuts to the hospital and these readmission rates."

Readmissions also represent a huge cost to the healthcare system, Hurley says, because these cases typically require much longer stays. "The Liberals have cut hospital budgets by 20 per cent over the last four years in real terms and now the hospital system, with the fewest beds available in the developed world is failing to properly heal an increasing number of people. The province needs to fund its hospitals properly."

Contact Information:

Michael Hurley
President, (OCHU/CUPE)

Mike Rodrigues
President, CUPE 1974

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications