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WCB Contributes to Increased Wait Times in Hospitals

(The CIWS has pointed out how provincial governments are in a conflict of interest when they allow the WCB to deny chronic stress claims due to workload in hospitals and schools. This allows the provinces to understaff their hospitals and schools without having to face workplace safety inspections. (See Workplace Safety Inspections - 'Out of Synch'). The fact that WCB denies stress claims is not only discriminatory, but it also harms Canadian society by contributing to chronic understaffing. Understaffing has been implicated in the increasing injury rates of workers and in the deaths of patients due to medical errors. Chronic understaffing contributes significantly to increased wait times in Canadian hospitals.)
See also: WCBs Download Costs Onto Health Care
Friday, January 19, 2007


Ontario's health care system near the breaking point

(TORONTO) -- At a Queen’s Park news conference today the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) again called on the McGuinty Liberals to address the serious issue of understaffing in virtually every part of the health care system.

The recently released final report of Justice Archie Campbell on Ontario’s response to the 2003 SARS crisis points out the critical role played by health care workers during the crisis. The SARS Report also outlines the critical need for more health care staff.

In 2005 the OFL traveled the province talking to health care workers in nursing homes, homes for the aged, retirement homes, hospitals, emergency services, laboratories, home care, public health units and mental health facilities. What the Federation found was a system stretched to its limit with diminished staffing levels, under resourced, exhausted front-line workers and heavy, heavy workloads on workers in every sector.

After traveling the province the OFL distributed postcards to health care workers to sign and return to Premier McGuinty. “We Deliver the Care in Health Care” was the postcard message to the Premier and health care workers urged the government to address the understaffing crisis.

Talking to front line workers also produced the Report: Understaffed & Under Pressure: A reality check by Ontario health care workers. The Report outlines the conditions of the exhausted workers who are trying to provide the proper care to our society’s sick, injured and frail in the face of our understaffed health care system and calls on the provincial government to restore and strengthen the public health care system.

Speaking at the news conference today:

Terry Downey, Executive Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Labour
Cathy Carroll, Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union Local 1
Fred Hahn, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario Division
Patty Rout, Chair, Health Care Divisional Council, Ontario Public Service Employees Union

At the news conference OFL Executive Vice-President Terry Downey gave MPP, NDP Health & Long-Term Care critic Shelley Martel the postcards to pass on to the McGuinty government.

The message remains the same for health care workers in this province “We Deliver the Care in Health Care” and we are desperately understaffed.

For More Information:
Dana Boettger, Communications Director
p: 416-443-7665 | f: 416.441.0722
Toll-free: 1-800-668-9138

Terry Downey, Executive Vice-President
p: 416-443-7650 | m: 416-578-3230 | f: 416.441.0722

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