SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 7, 2017) - Hospital and long-term care staff who are dealing with the impacts of years of funding cuts to staff and patient care are making the trek by bus to a noon rally in Sudbury tomorrow (June 8, 2017). They are there to make the point that the province's funding increase for health care in 2017 isn't enough to compensate for nearly a decade of underfunding and devastating cuts to care.

Taking place at Sudbury's Health Sciences North, the rally for increased health care funding is the fourth in a series of similar events that have already been held in Kingston, Hamilton and Kenora.

Ontario's 2017 provincial budget only gave 3 per cent. But real costs are rising 5.3 per cent. Even hospitals with significant deficits saw a bare 2 per cent injection, well below the 3.1 per cent in the April budget.

"Hospital and long-term care staff are dedicated. They believe in public health care. But they are overworked, often working injured and unable to provide hospital patients and long-term care residents with the level of care and supports they know are needed. Provincial funding for health care is far too low to enable them to that," says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario.

Before the April budget, OCHU/CUPE and others including the Ontario Hospital Association called for about 5 per cent funding increase for hospitals. "But the budget didn't deliver what hospitals and long-term care homes need just to meet inflationary costs, never mind a growing and ageing population. The province is several hundreds of millions short and we are encouraging both opposition parties to push for that needed funding for hospitals and long-term care homes in their communities," says Hurley.

On average funding for hospitals is 25.3 per cent more in other provinces than in Ontario.

Contact Information:

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

Stella Yeadon
CUPE communications