FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is demanding answers after four healthcare workers with decades of experience were laid off last week without explanation during a global pandemic. According to media reports, they were given no explanation for their termination. When pressed for answers, management said they were “restructuring.”
“Community Health centres are mandated to serve vulnerable populations such as the homeless, seniors, refugees, new immigrants and low-income individuals. We are shocked to hear that the largest CHC in Ontario is firing frontline medical staff without cause” said Sam Hersh, Board member of Horizon Ottawa. “No worker should be treated as disposable.”
The staff were terminated with no warning or explanation, leaving the clinic understaffed. PQCHC subsequently announced that appointment times for a complex patient population will be reduced. Even more puzzling is CEO Christopher McIntosh’s attempt to frame these moves as somehow beneficial to patients.
“Patients in our communities are the ones who will suffer the most from such inept management” said Hersh. “Some of these patients are victims of war who will risk being re-traumatised by having their long relationship with a care provider abruptly severed and putting their care in jeopardy.”
Horizon Ottawa is demanding that the PQCHC Board take action and investigate the actions of the CEO as well as the Director of Integrated Healthcare, who also had a role in the firings, and the impacts of these actions. If the Board refuses, we are asking that the Minister of Health and Long Term Care do the review themselves instead. We also call on current patients at PQCHC to blow the whistle if their services are in fact reduced by their community health center as a result of management’s actions.
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