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February 13, 2003

Nancy Lawrence
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 77642

Urgent and emergency patient care needs met today at London Health Sciences Centre

(LONDON, Ontario) While OPSEU's "Day of Action" has had an impact on patient care, the Hospital has been able to meet the needs of urgent and emergency patients. In addition, all elective surgeries have been performed as scheduled.

"Our ability to maintain hospital operations today was possible through extensive contingency planning in the time leading up to February 13; constant monitoring of Patient Care areas throughout the day; and the efforts of staff and physicians in managing last-minute changes and adjustments," says Brian Orr, Vice-president Human Resources and Community Relations.

London Health Sciences Centre's regret that OSPEU's illegal action has caused inconvenience to staff and patients.

"We recognize that patients were inconvenienced by the need to reschedule appointments earlier in the week, and by the delays and rescheduling that occurred today. Some patients also chose to reschedule their appointments to another time as a result of uncertainties around the job action," says Orr.

LHSC understands that this has been a difficult situation for all our staff members and physicians.

"We would like to thank staff and physicians for their patience and professionalism today, and for ensuring that patient safety remained our primary focus and concern," adds Orr.

At this time, LHSC can confirm that approximately 40 per cent of those OPSEU-represented staff expected to work today did not report to work this morning as scheduled.