02/13/2012 04:00 EST | Updated 04/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Rally planned in Sudbury over bed cuts at Memorial Hospital

SUDBURY, Ont. - A rally is planned today outside the Sudbury riding office of Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci to protest the looming closure of 30 beds at Memorial Hospital.

CUPE Local 1623, which is sponsoring the 11 a.m. rally, says the bed closures at the end of March will "thrust frail seniors with complex medical needs into a void."

The union says the hospital staff it represents oppose this "ill-conceived action" seniors now face non-existent home care supports and a 900 person wait list for long-term care.

CUPE says Health Minister Deb Matthews has been "talking up" a new health action plan to keep people out of hospital and long-term care, and in their homes with a few hours of home care.

But the union says the bed cuts at Memorial will "make those problems worse" and the government is pretending its home care strategy can handle these problems.

Local 1623 president Dave Shelefontiuk says Bartolucci's office was chosen for the rally because he 's been absent in advocating for adequate health care funding for Sudbury.