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Health coalition holding town hall meeting to ‘Stop the Cuts’ at Windsor Regional

Posted: March 29, 2016

(March 29, 2016)

By:Brian Cross, Windsor Star

The Windsor Health Coalition is kicking off a Stop the Cuts campaign Thursday, holding a town hall meeting to protest the “devastating” impact of staffing cuts at Windsor Regional Hospital.

“This is not a campaign directed at Windsor Regional Hospital. The problem is funding, not management,” coalition member Ken Lewenza Jr. said Wednesday, describing the town hall (starting at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Names high school) as an effort to mobilize the entire community.

Facing a $20-million funding shortfall, the hospital announced in January that it would eliminate the equivalent of 166 full-time staff, but then hire 80 registered practical nurses to replace more costly registered nurses. The total impact on the RNs at the hospital’s two campuses amounts fo the loss of 169 full- and part-time RNs, according to their union.

The coalition says the cuts add up to 92,000 hours per year of year of lost “hands-on nursing care” and cuts in real services.

The coalition – part of the Ontario Health Coalition – is calling for Ontario to bring its funding levels up so they’re at the national average. Lewenza said Ontario is at or near the bottom among the provinces when it comes to hospital beds per 1,000 population, in-patient nursing hours, and public hospital funding.

“If you look at the $20 million in cuts (at Windsor Regional), our hospitals, our patients, our community deserve fairness and a level of dignity,” he said.

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