Ontario’s NDP Leader Meets With Niagara Healthcare Workers To Talk Liberal Hospital Cuts

News from the Office of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Welland, Ontario – This past Thursday, April 9th, 2015 Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath met with Niagara area nurses, frontline healthcare staff, Welland Mayor Frank Campion, and MPPs Cindy Forster (Welland) and Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls).

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

The healthcare roundtable focused on healthcare cuts and the Liberal government’s plan to further damage healthcare in the Niagara Peninsula.

“The Niagara Health System is already overcrowded, but Kathleen Wynne is shutting down hospitals in Niagara, including the Welland Hospital,” said Horwath. “By closing hospitals Kathleen Wynne is putting families at risk. Every time the Liberals find themselves facing a scandal they can find the money to make it go away, but when it comes to healthcare for people in Niagara they say the cupboard is bare.”

Horwath noted that health cuts are not limited to Niagara, pointing out that communities across Ontario are facing cuts. Examples include:

  • 50 Nurses being cut at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa);
  • 42 Nurses being eliminated in Sudbury;
  • 39 Nurses being cut at Bluewater Health in Sarnia; and
  • Closing the Leamington Obstetrics and Gynecology department

Last week, representatives of the Ontario Health Coalition came to Queen’s Park to discuss a report by International Health Policy Expert Dr. John Lister, showing that the plan to close Niagara’s hospitals “lacks any rational justification” and will put patients at risk. Dr. Lister’s report also highlighted elements of the plan which will lead to greater healthcare privatization.Acute care bed occupancy in the NHS has already reached 102% of capacity, but the closures will reduce the number of beds. And according to documents obtained from the LHIN, closing hospitals will require that remaining NHS complex continuing care beds will be expected to remain at 97% occupancy—safe occupancy levels are 82%—meaning that the NHS will be operating a continual crisis level.

“Kathleen Wynne promised she wasn’t going to cut health care, but the Liberals are closing hospitals. These cuts are going to hurt families from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Port Colborne and everyone in between,” said Horwath. “Niagara deserves respect, and families deserve to know that their healthcare system is going to be there when they need it.”

(Niagara At Large invites you to join in the conversation by sharing your views on the content of this post below. For reasons of transparency and promoting civil dialogue, NAL only posts comments from individuals who share their first and last name with their views.)

4 responses to “Ontario’s NDP Leader Meets With Niagara Healthcare Workers To Talk Liberal Hospital Cuts

  1. Linda McKellar

    Andrea has supported hospitals & nurses from day ONE.
    She has been at most of the meetings re closures & I have seen her take testimonies, including my own, verbatim to Queen’s Park only to fall, surprise, upon deaf ears.
    One has to wonder if any MP’s or MPP’s actually know the duties & responsibilities of nurses but rather think they walk around with a tray of pills & say “Yes, doctor”. This was obvious years ago when the illustrious pay equity board equated nurses with pastry chefs. How insulting was that?

    Nurses are the hands on, front line patient advocates…a VERY important role in these days of cutbacks. Someone has to advocate for the patients. The bean counters neither care nor know how to advocate for patients because their concern is the bottom line. RNs & LPNs are the ones at the bedside who alert the doctors to changes & inform them what needs to be done. So how do these bean counters save money….by removing the most important brick in the foundation thus enabling the entire structure to collapse. Even before I retired, the nurse patient ratio was often 10 or 15 to one. How can anyone provide proper care? I’m not talking about chronic patients either but acute patients, post op & otherwise. Solution? Cut staff & hire less skilled generic staff. Reduce cleaning staff …a vital component of care. Who wants to heal in a dirty hospital? Remember the C dif outbreak in Niagara? Several died.
    Idiots. Mind you, staff currently employed dare not speak for fear of losing their jobs but all would agree.

    A few nurses are also on the “sunshine list” although nowhere NEAR the wages or number of health care CEO’s (who provide no hand’s on care) as well as police, fire, etc. who do essential services. Something to consider however is WHY these nurses are on the list. It is because staff numbers have been reduced so greatly that full time nurses are obligated to do overtime because no one else is available or other staff is ill due to stress & fatigue. These people get 1-1/2 or 2X pay depending on such things as 3rd weekend or holidays or shift, while those who call in sick are getting sick pay also. How about hiring more staff at straight time? That would be cost effective & result in better care from staff that isn’t exhausted. It would also make sense….that will never do.

    The current hospitals are already running over capacity. Therefore these wizards decide to close hospitals too, leaving smaller communities without services & reducing the quality of services in places like Stratford & Cambridge. Do people in rural communities get to refuse paying their health care levee or reduced taxes as a result? No, we finance the big cities. After all, who needs votes from the “hicks” if you can concentrate on the more populated voter areas. This isn’t about health care, safety or improvements but about politics & profits.

    I could go on all day but need to give others a chance.


    • HNHB-LHIN supports the NHS closing of hospital beds and services so that it can boast how well it is doing in the Hamilton-Burlington area. We, in Niagara without reasonable public transit, have to travel distances to receive hospital care and/or go to private clinics that charge the government the going rate then cut the salaries of the workers who provide the services; the Hamilton-Burlington segment, with accessible public transit, has/will have duplicate services throughout the community.
      If we all moved from the NHS to the Hamilton area perhaps the government and the LHIN would recognize the overcrowding of healthcare in that area (as is the case in within the NHS) then realize it must serve the needs of the population within the NHS.
      It seems that the majority of all positive moves by the HNHB-LHIN originate in the Hamilton-Burlington area with the intent of eventually expanding into the NHS. For some reason, it seems that no worthwhile projects expand southward. As you wrote, it results in a shortage of qualified workers who arfe overworked.


  2. It is the Ontario Liberal Government, to blame for this mess, they have squandered so many billions of dollars down the drain, The interest alone must be enormous. They decided to wage war on the School system and the Hospitals, consolidation and closure of these buildings under the guise of streamlining the two systems is a huge failure, they are demanding Schools in Toronto that are overflowing with students to consolidate, Insanity rules at Queens Park, that’s my opinion.!


  3. Either Premier Wynne or the journalist failed to complete her “not cut healthcare” statement. Her full statement should read “the Provincial Liberal Government will not cut healthcare in the GHTA area by cutting healthcare in Niagara and other communities outside the GHTA.”

    In future, please report either the Premier’s full statement or what she meant to say. If you did you would not have to include examples such as you did to contradict her statement.
    ◾50 Nurses being cut at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa);
    ◾42 Nurses being eliminated in Sudbury;
    ◾39 Nurses being cut at Bluewater Health in Sarnia; and
    ◾Closing the Leamington Obstetrics and Gynecology department
    By quoting what the Premier said then giving examples to the opposite, you cause us to believe that the Premier is not making honest statements.


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