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  • Writer's pictureDesmond Brown

Ontario health-care workers 'at their wits end' over hospital staffing crisis: union

Updated: Feb 29

Hundreds held demonstration in Toronto calling on the province to act

CBC News · Posted: Feb 06, 2024 7:41 PM EST | Last Updated: February 7

Pam Parks has been a registered practical nurse since 1986. (CBC)

Health-care workers across Ontario "are at their wits end" due to the ongoing hospital staffing "crisis" taking a toll on the province's emergency rooms, the president of Ontario Council of Hospital Unions of CUPE said Tuesday.

Michael Hurley was among hundreds of workers and union leaders who held a demonstration outside the Sheraton Centre where several of the unions that represent health-care workers were engaged in collective bargaining with the province, to demand higher wages and better working conditions.

He said there are approximately 13,150 people on stretchers in hospital hallways, 107,000 people waiting for surgeries, and tens of thousands waiting for diagnostic procedures provincewide — but not enough workers to meet the demand.

"There is an exodus of staff in the health-care sector and in the hospital sector particularly … [and] the quality of patient care is suffering tremendously," Hurley told CBC Toronto.

"We lose over 10 per cent of nurses and other staff every year and we're not replacing them. So, retaining staff is key."


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