Hamilton nurses, unions, ready to “ratchet up” awareness of health care cuts at Queen’s Park

News Apr 01, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Health care providers and union officials are preparing for a battle with the Ontario government and health care administrators to save jobs and protect patients, say members of the Hamilton Health Coalition.

During what was a billed as a town hall meeting March 29 in the council chambers of City Hall, the inaugural Hamilton Health Coalition hosted union presidents, patients and nurses as they talked about devastating budget cuts, patient safety and morale problems at Hamilton’s health care facilities.

“Shame on the government for not providing the necessary funding,” said Linda Haslam-Stroud, president of the Ontario Nursing Association.

St. Joseph Healthcare is proposing to cut 136 jobs, including 90 registered nurses, to help reduce $26 million from its $550 million budget. St. Joseph announced in February it is closing its east-end King Street psychiatry clinic and merging it with the West Fifth facility.

Hamilton Health Sciences is eliminating 100 jobs, including 40 positions already vacant, as it slices $25 million from its budget. HHS has been cutting $25 million to $30 million a year from its $1.2 billion budget over the last four years of status quo providing funding.

This year the Ontario Liberals increased funding to provincial hospitals by $345 million, but local health care officials say the money won’t stave off the cuts.

HHS CEO Rob MacIsaac recently told Hamilton politicians in the facility’s new 20-year plan, the hospital may have to “consolidate” facilities to cut costs and make it sustainable.  He talked about the hospital changing its model, establishing more clinics in the community, and using technology such as virtual reality to address patient needs.

“We have been battered by the cuts,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

Warren “Smokey” Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents 130,000 people, said the health care cuts is “all about privatization” and “all about cutting” to meet the Liberal’s budget projections in 2018.

“I think these are fights we can win,” he said. “Let’s fight the bastards.”

Mehra encouraged the 120 people who turned out to sign petitions against the cuts. The goal, she said, is to hold a Hamilton Awareness Day at Queen’s Park and put pressure on the Liberals to answer questions about health care. She wanted the campaign to occur before the legislature recesses June 9.

“We just want to ratchet up the awareness,” said Mehra. “Make people aware of the massive cuts.”

 

 

Hamilton nurses, unions, ready to “ratchet up” awareness of health care cuts at Queen’s Park

News Apr 01, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Health care providers and union officials are preparing for a battle with the Ontario government and health care administrators to save jobs and protect patients, say members of the Hamilton Health Coalition.

During what was a billed as a town hall meeting March 29 in the council chambers of City Hall, the inaugural Hamilton Health Coalition hosted union presidents, patients and nurses as they talked about devastating budget cuts, patient safety and morale problems at Hamilton’s health care facilities.

“Shame on the government for not providing the necessary funding,” said Linda Haslam-Stroud, president of the Ontario Nursing Association.

St. Joseph Healthcare is proposing to cut 136 jobs, including 90 registered nurses, to help reduce $26 million from its $550 million budget. St. Joseph announced in February it is closing its east-end King Street psychiatry clinic and merging it with the West Fifth facility.

Hamilton Health Sciences is eliminating 100 jobs, including 40 positions already vacant, as it slices $25 million from its budget. HHS has been cutting $25 million to $30 million a year from its $1.2 billion budget over the last four years of status quo providing funding.

This year the Ontario Liberals increased funding to provincial hospitals by $345 million, but local health care officials say the money won’t stave off the cuts.

HHS CEO Rob MacIsaac recently told Hamilton politicians in the facility’s new 20-year plan, the hospital may have to “consolidate” facilities to cut costs and make it sustainable.  He talked about the hospital changing its model, establishing more clinics in the community, and using technology such as virtual reality to address patient needs.

“We have been battered by the cuts,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

Warren “Smokey” Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents 130,000 people, said the health care cuts is “all about privatization” and “all about cutting” to meet the Liberal’s budget projections in 2018.

“I think these are fights we can win,” he said. “Let’s fight the bastards.”

Mehra encouraged the 120 people who turned out to sign petitions against the cuts. The goal, she said, is to hold a Hamilton Awareness Day at Queen’s Park and put pressure on the Liberals to answer questions about health care. She wanted the campaign to occur before the legislature recesses June 9.

“We just want to ratchet up the awareness,” said Mehra. “Make people aware of the massive cuts.”

 

 

Hamilton nurses, unions, ready to “ratchet up” awareness of health care cuts at Queen’s Park

News Apr 01, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Health care providers and union officials are preparing for a battle with the Ontario government and health care administrators to save jobs and protect patients, say members of the Hamilton Health Coalition.

During what was a billed as a town hall meeting March 29 in the council chambers of City Hall, the inaugural Hamilton Health Coalition hosted union presidents, patients and nurses as they talked about devastating budget cuts, patient safety and morale problems at Hamilton’s health care facilities.

“Shame on the government for not providing the necessary funding,” said Linda Haslam-Stroud, president of the Ontario Nursing Association.

St. Joseph Healthcare is proposing to cut 136 jobs, including 90 registered nurses, to help reduce $26 million from its $550 million budget. St. Joseph announced in February it is closing its east-end King Street psychiatry clinic and merging it with the West Fifth facility.

Hamilton Health Sciences is eliminating 100 jobs, including 40 positions already vacant, as it slices $25 million from its budget. HHS has been cutting $25 million to $30 million a year from its $1.2 billion budget over the last four years of status quo providing funding.

This year the Ontario Liberals increased funding to provincial hospitals by $345 million, but local health care officials say the money won’t stave off the cuts.

HHS CEO Rob MacIsaac recently told Hamilton politicians in the facility’s new 20-year plan, the hospital may have to “consolidate” facilities to cut costs and make it sustainable.  He talked about the hospital changing its model, establishing more clinics in the community, and using technology such as virtual reality to address patient needs.

“We have been battered by the cuts,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

Warren “Smokey” Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents 130,000 people, said the health care cuts is “all about privatization” and “all about cutting” to meet the Liberal’s budget projections in 2018.

“I think these are fights we can win,” he said. “Let’s fight the bastards.”

Mehra encouraged the 120 people who turned out to sign petitions against the cuts. The goal, she said, is to hold a Hamilton Awareness Day at Queen’s Park and put pressure on the Liberals to answer questions about health care. She wanted the campaign to occur before the legislature recesses June 9.

“We just want to ratchet up the awareness,” said Mehra. “Make people aware of the massive cuts.”