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The community has the right to know: superbug outbreak in Niagara

Tomorrow, a health care rally will be held at 3 pm outside the Greater Niagara General Hospital.  The theme is "Residents have a right to know!"  (Notice for the rally is below.) The rally follows the long delay in the announcement that  patients had died with the infectious superbug C. Difficile, creating what has become a major national new story.

The hospital has tried to justify the long delay in telling the community of the deaths at the Welland and Greater Niagara hospitals because an 'outbreak' had not been declared. 

But the outbreak issue is beside the point.

It is actually quite tricky to determine when an 'outbreak' has occurred.  In any case, superbugs are in our hospitals all the time, ‘outbreak’ declared or not.  Incredibly, this is sometimes used as an excuse NOT to report superbug associated deaths. To my mind, it is in fact all the more reason to report the facts to the public.  

Past campaigns by OCHU and others forced government to require hospitals to publicly report ALL superbug infections.  Likewise, the government should require hospitals to provide standardized reports of the incidence of patients who die with superbug infections.   Then the ‘outbreak excuse’ is moot.  

Only then will we know the true extent of the problem.  I'm betting that an informed public will require public authorities to take the steps necessary to deal with this problem (steps well beyond asking people to wash their hands).  

As it stands now, the Niagara hospital actually provided MORE information to the public than is required.



WHERE:                   Greater Niagara General Hospital

DATE:                       Wednesday, July 6, 2011

TIME:                        3:00 p.m.

SPEAKERS:             Jim Diodati – Mayor, Niagara Falls
                                    Kim Craitor – M.P.P., Niagara Falls
                                    Andrea Horvath – Leader of the Ontario NDP
                                    Susan Salzer –  Yellow Shirt Brigade

For any further information, please call Wayne Gates, President, CAW Local 199 and Niagara Falls City Councillor at  905-682-2611, ext. 226 or cell phone 905-328-9532.

Issued by:

Wayne Gates
Niagara Falls City Councillor and
President, CAW Local 199


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