Skip to main content

Niagara Falls Council condemns hospital superbug secrecy

Niagara Falls city council tore into the Niagara Health System  Monday night, passing a resolution expressing outrage with the hospital's handling of its reports of a C. difficile outbreak at the Greater Niagara General Hospital, the Niagara Bullet reports
The outrage came after the hospital revealed that four people with C. Difficile had also died at the Greater Niagara  General site. The deaths occurred between May 12 and June 16, but were not reported until June 23.   The report came long after the hospital began reporting an outbreak and deaths at the  St. Catharines General site.
A hospital spokesperson, argued, “What needs to be emphasized is that there will always be patients with C. difficile in our hospitals and in our communities. It is not common practice for hospitals to report individual deaths directly to the public.” A hospital vice-president added that the NHS notified the coroner about the four GNGH deaths but not the public until after the outbreak had been declared the night of June 23.  "Even though we didn't disclose it publicly, we were disclosing it, informing the coroner."

“With the NHS, more effort is put into hiding the problem than dealing with it. It’s putting lives at risk. It’s unreasonable and unfair. Don’t say there isn’t a problem and let us walk into it blindly,” Mayor Diodatti of Niagara Falls said. 
"It's our money and it's our hospital and it's our service and to not tell us the truth about it, that's inexcusable," Diodati said. "That was a blatant disregard for public safety."
OCHU has long argued that the government require hospitals to publicly report superbug deaths in a standardized manner.  


Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.

This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.

Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.

As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…