More CCH beds needed, says union

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The union consortium for hospital workers is calling on the provincial government to immediately fund at least 17 more beds at the Cornwall Community Hospital.

According to the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, overcrowding is now a “constant” problem at the McConnell Avenue building.

CCH was dealing with an occupancy rate of 138 per cent in the first few weeks of January and several media reports suggest that overflow continues to plague the facility.

“There is absolutely no surge capacity in the system and hospital staff from nurses to cleaners are working at an exhausting pace, because they have too many patients to care for,” OCHU President Michael Hurley said.

The union said the hospital has “done the right thing” by adding 50 unfunded beds.

But adding unfunded beds is, in theory, diluting the resources per patient at the hospital.

It will lead to CCH being forced to make budget cuts to balance the books, Hurley explained.

In a statement, a Cornwall Community Hospital spokesperson said they would not be commenting on the OCHU’s viewpoint.

However, the hospital  did correct the OCHU’s statistic of 170 in-patient beds, telling CNW “we have 146 funded beds today.”