Message to Premier Dalton McGuinty: Please fund our hospitals adequately to resolve their deficits and stop the cuts.
Toronto (15 March 2009) - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is sending its hospital locals more than 40,000 Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) postcards this week as part of a campaign to restore funding to the province’s hospitals.
The postcards are to encourage the McGuinty government to adequately fund hospitals to resolve deficits and stop the present round of cuts. About 5,000 jobs are expected to be eliminated from Ontario hospitals this year. Ontario ranks eighth among Canada's 10 provinces in per capita funding of hospitals.
Health Minister David Caplan has told the hospitals they will receive an increase of only 2.1% this year — well below what is needed to maintain existing services.
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) says hospitals need 3.5% simply to stand still. The difference between 2.1% and 3.5% amounts to about $250 million on a $40 billion health budget. It would take an investment of $1.6 billion to bring Ontario hospitals up the level of their counterparts across Canada.
As a percentage of the overall health budget, hospitals have actually been shrinking. They presently account for about one third of the overall health budget. In the 1980s hospitals received about 50% of what the province spent on health care.
The postcards, addressed to Premier McGuinty, state:
Hospital cuts threaten our health
Dear Premier McGuinty:
We are extremely concerned about the inadequate funding by your government that is causing cuts to hospital services in our community.
We are disturbed that your government is not listening to public concerns about the loss of local hospital services here and across Ontario.
Please fund our hospitals adequately to resolve their deficits and stop the cuts.
Signature, Street Address, Town/City
Anyone wishing to get additional copies of the postcard should contact OPSEU Campaigns Officer Rick Janson at 416-443-8888 ext 8383 (Toll-Free 1-800-268-7376).
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE