Up to 12,000 Canadians die every year from a hospital-acquired infection (HAI) — such as E. coli, C. difficile, MRSA and VRE. Following the news that these HAIs are the fourth-leading cause of death in Canada behind heart attacks, cancer and strokes, a union is demanding the province give hospitals more money for better housekeeping and more private rooms to stop the spread of superbugs.

According to reporting from The Peterborough Examiner, 30 to 50 percent fewer people would die from these infections if hospitals hired more housekeeping staff and those staff cleaned every hospital room as thoroughly as they would an isolation room. That would mean cleaning the ceiling, walls, beds and equipment, as well as throwing away any exposed equipment, such as gauze, even if it's unused.

Hospital protocols are strict enough to meet the demands, say reports, but frontline workers can't keep up with the pace. In most cases, the departments are understaffed to meet the cleaning protocols.

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