’83 less nurses, 248 less staff and $26 million funding gap at SAH’ says Union


When compared to the rest of Canada, the Ontario government’s $4.8 billion underfunding for hospitals like Sault Area Hospital, means skeleton hospital staffing and much less care for Sault Ste. Marie patients; a report released today has found.

Based on the latest figures from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Ontario funding for hospitals is $1,395.73 per capita. The rest of the country spends $1,749.68 per capita. In other words, provincial and territorial governments outside of Ontario spend $353.96 per person on hospitals than Ontario does. That’s a 25.3% more than Canada’s most populous province, the report says.

The report, The Fewer hands, Less Hospital Care shows that in Sault Ste. Marie, the funding shortfall equates to 83 less nurses, 248 less staff, providing care in the hospital.

“The $4.8 billion shortfall is hospital funding in Ontario is counted in 6 hours less nursing care per patient in our hospital” said Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions.  “Our hospitals have significantly higher readmission rates than the rest of the country because of our radically shortened lengths of stays”.

“This gap, has significant consequences for local communities and patients” says Hurley, “thousands of patients turned away from hospitals or sent home while still acutely ill and thousands more dying from hospital-acquired infections due in part to overcrowding”.

Average Ontario hospital funding for the population the size of Sault Ste. Marie in 2005/06 would have been about $3.59 million less than average community of the same size outside of Ontario. But by 2015/16 the funding shortfall for a city like Sault Ste. Marie would have exploded to $25.6 million.

“What’s so disturbing is that the provincial Liberals are proud of cutting hospital patient care. People are sent home sick. They are denied admittance because beds are overbooked.” says Hurley. He continues, “The people of Sault Ste. Marie are paying the price for Ontario’s lower hospital funding”.


  1. I believe the government just want’s out of the health care business, and if they piss the people off enough we will beg them for more private health care.

  2. Okay – so am I the only one that sees the trend? Over the past 35-40 years, how many times has this happened?
    Answer: at least 3 – you see – it is just like any other business – business is not so good and there is poor customer satisfaction, so what do they do? Increase customer service, hire managers to oversee managers, to make projects that make them look like they are accomplishing great things -eg. LEAN, ICARE – (spend) until everyone believes the service is great.
    Don’t give the staff pens because they are ‘All Stars’ for working short, give them time to give good customer service (patient care) i.e. care aids, RPNs, RNs, Unit Clerks. Give them the tools they need to do the job and you might find that the work related injuries decrease, fewer call in sick from burnout, teamwork improves…
    Oh yes! – lets hire a company that sends out surveys to our customers that ask questions that generate positive results. Wow! 87% surveyed were thrilled with their care! (Patient – but they didn’t ask me about my needs, my personal experience, how long I had to wait for ___ )

    No, we should hire leads and get employees to join their committees and bring in more employees to cover their shifts (so we pay two wages for the same hours) to form studies to decide that the cups are too expensive and we need to buy more affordable cups.
    Oh dear, now we see that we are spending and our profits are suffering (still profiting though). We better cut some of these services. Who is going to make these decisions? Well management and the new leads of course- the ones that have spent the money that could lave been allocated to … I don’t know… patient care, staffing, front line workers…
    Oh and what about WCB? Well, we are really sorry you are injured but we want you to crawl in to work, sometimes extending your injury, and if you can’t stay, that’s okay, go home and we will pay you and the person we have to replace you. At least we do not get penalized for time lost due to injuries. Great incentive to ignore the reason of a lot of the injuries that are happening – understaffing on the front line. What is your answer if you are asked “how much have you paid out in wages for (insert # here) work related injuries so you could brag that you have had zero time lost. SERIOUSLY? So paying double in wages to cover these workers is never mentioned?
    So the cuts have been made and the staff who are left are putting their licenses on the line because of unsafe work practices. But they are care givers and they will do it because that is just how incredibly caring they are.
    Now is the time that tragedies can happen, and you can be sure that they do, but you may not hear about them. Unless… it was your family, friend, coworker etc. involved. But it is not the caregivers fault. Walk in their shoes for 1 shift – I dare you. Better still – all of the people making the decisions regarding who needs health care and what that looks like, be a patient for a minimum of 1 month.

    The ‘good news’? Holy cow! You guys need some help (someone has been gravely affected) – maybe we should hire some care aides (PSWs) and increase the nursing team to accommodate the actual workload.
    I do not know the answers but I have lived through the changes – good times – lean (dangerous to patients) times – good times – lean (dangerous to patients) times – …

  3. It is an absolute shock that these so called high educated executives can’t understand the principal of money loss. It is not staff wages rather the thousands of dollars a of waste each day. Kleenex, food, Attends, wipes, and cut less other supplies. All wasted every time a patient leaves any unit including emergency departments. Hold the same amount of staff accountable for waste losses. It’s time to realize the obvious.

  4. Katherine Wynne came Sault ste Marie to help the East Indians steal Millions for my town. And now she cuts funding for hospitals. Thanks for voting liberals everybody. You’re all idiots

  5. Justin Trudeau please fix this. We have a new hospital with over worked staff as it is, with this cut, people are going to die. So sad. Why build a new hospital and not provide proper care. Thankfully my family is healthy and rarely have to go there, but for those in need ,so,sad.??

  6. I can not accurately convey the rage building inside of me, seeing these figures. People will DIE as a result of this. WHY, is this being allowed to happen? WHO is going to stop this?

    How can they just axe 26 million?!? This hospital is NEW . . . 246 less staff? I’m appalled.

      • Yes and it is a death trap just waiting to happen. I truly hope I do not get sick because quite frankly it is better to stay away from there,, I have been waiting for a doctor for over 5 years,, plus. I am getting older and I need special care. I cannot fathom the irresponsibility of our political system them knowing how many people are without doctors and acute care needs here in our city. In fact it was brought up by a woman who spoke with our Premier Kathleen Wynne just yesterday at the barbeque at Bellview Park. Why did they build that hospital,, it is ridiculous. There is an explosion of super bugs,, like M.R.S.A at our local hospital. With all of our Olympic participants in Rio De Janero, and those from all over the world,, you can be assured that the Zika virus will be brought back to our Country and many others,, sickening. They developed the Zika virus when they released the G.M.O mosquitoes to counteract this virus,, wouldn’t you know after they released these mosquitoes there was an immediate outbreak of the virus,, ??? Anyhow this is disturbing to say the least,, when visiting the hospital or any hospital be sure to wear a mask,,, This is getting very real and scary.

    • That’s not nice at all!! Have you walked in nurses shoes trying to be positive 24/7 meanwhile i left a room with a dying patient and go into next room to take care of another patient and hoping this patient doesnt see me wiping my tears away. Or having angry patients calling you nasty names because of the wait times, it takes time for lab, ct, mri results to come back. Who gets the brunt of everything is us nurses we are human and have feelings and do care about our patients and we wish we could get things done for our patient so I stand proudly behind I CARE. So bashing us nurses isn’t going to do any good bash were it belongs, the government.

  7. And so Wynne’s plan is to sell the money-making operations such as Ontario Hydro and the Casinos? The very programmes that could provide sustainable ongoing funding for health care and other essential services.

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