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Coalition urges end to hospital cuts

Posted: October 30, 2015

(October 30, 2015)

By North Bay Nugget Staff

A coalition of health advocates, health workers and patients want the provincial government to not only stop reductions at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, but to restore services which have already been cut.

“We feel our demands are not unreasonable,” Michael Taylor, co-chair of the North Bay branch of the Health Coalition of Ontario, said at a news conference Friday to promote a province-wide Day of Action scheduled in North Bay Nov. 30.

Speakers said cuts at the North Bay Regional Health Centre have been the deepest in the province, partly because of the Public-Private-Partnership model and partly because the provincial government is applying the same benchmarks to this hospital as it does to hospitals in southern Ontario.

“I don’t think it is being benchmarked appropriately,” Shawn Shank, president of CUPE Local 139, said.

“All the benchmarking compares us to hospitals in southern Ontario,” he said, but pointed out that it is the only hospital in the country where the mental health and medical units are combined under the same roof.

The local hospital also treats a much larger geographic area, he said.

“It’s not like southern Ontario where you have a hospital every five or six blocks,” he said.

“We are being compared to big hospitals in southern Ontario. That is where we are losing. We are not being benchmarked appropriately.”

This story will be updated

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