Spending cuts could impact CCH staff, beds

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Spending cuts could impact CCH staff, beds
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) President Michael Hurley on Friday July 26 (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) President Michael Hurley spoke about how our province is not properly equipped to accommodate or serve the aging population in terms of hospital care and long-term care on Friday, July 26.

Hurley referred to many statistics outlined in the new OCHU and CUPE annual report which was released last week, critiquing Conservative cutbacks.

“Even though there’s the addition of beds in long-term care facilities, there’s still not enough beds; there’s just not enough,” said Hurley, who believes cutbacks are affecting every area of healthcare.

The report outlined that CCH could lose five beds and 40 staff members over the next five years. Currently, the CCH is operating over capacity at a rate of 102.1 per cent. On a daily basis, about 155 beds are available at CCH. Annually, 56,538 beds are open but 57,706 beds are occupied.

A projected shortfall of $5.2 billion was also discussed in the report, as the provincial Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has observed Ontario’s budget plan to spend approximately $67.9 billion for 2023 to 2024, when expenses could fall around $75.9 billion for that budget year, according to Health Economists.

Hurley also noted pressures within hospital restructuring, an example including more acute care hospital services taking place at larger community centres, while more rural hospitals will be focused on catering to the aging population. Hurley mentioned that satellite programs are also seeing the distribution of services to other communities, however these programs are also building a back log, leading to longer wait times.

“The same cost pressures are pressing down on everyone,” said Hurley.

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