MPP for Niagara’s Welland Riding Demands Ontario’s Wynne Government Stop Planned Closure Of Five Niagara Area Hospitals

From the Constituency Office of Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

Posted June 2nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Ontario  – This May 31st, Welland MPP Cindy Forster was joined by the Ontario Health Coalition and the Niagara Health Coalition to demand that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals stop their plan to close five hospitals in the Niagara region.

A File Photo from one of a number of past rallies for saving Niagara’s hospitals

The group brought more than 2,500 letters from community members urging the government to immediately stop the planned hospital shut-downs.

 “The Liberal government has a proposal in place to close more hospitals in South Niagara – in Welland and Port Colborne – all based on a non-validated report issued in 2012 by Kevin Smith that experts describe as a report lacking ‘total evidence or reference,’” said Forster. “ The proposal was put forward without any formal consultation with families in my community. Should it move forward, the restructure will be unprecedented, putting tens of thousands at risk.”

The government’s current proposal is to entirely close five community hospitals in the Niagara region, in Welland, Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls, and replace them with one hospital on the southern outskirts of Niagara Falls. The Welland hospital, alone, provides health services for roughly 100,000 Welland and area residents.

 “We know that Niagara has one of the highest populations of seniors in the province – many of whom live on lower incomes. Worse, the region already has one of the lowest number of long-term care beds per population of seniors,” said Forster. “Studies show that with increased growth in the region as a result of more and more people drawn to the area, closing more hospitals in our community will have devastating impacts on already high capacity levels, putting families at enormous risk.”

The currently proposed ambulatory care centre to replace the hospital will not be a hospital. It won’t provide in-patient health care services, emergency care, nor complex and acute care. Welland and South Niagara area residents concerned about the closure of their hospitals joined Forster to present Wynne with over 2,500 personal letters opposing the closure of their local hospitals.

 “Will the minister listen to the experts, and to the message brought by constituents today and put an immediate stop to the short-sighted proposal to closing the Welland and Port Colborne hospitals?” asked Forster.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


2 responses to “MPP for Niagara’s Welland Riding Demands Ontario’s Wynne Government Stop Planned Closure Of Five Niagara Area Hospitals

  1. Chris Wojnarowski

    So here we are, and as usual, nobody seems to care … until they go to a hospital and are turned away because … maybe there IS no longer a hospital.

    As I’ve been posting for years, the HOSPITAL with a capital ‘H’ is the cornerstone of any serious community … especially one like Welland that calls itself a “City”. So who is to be held accountable for the deconstruction of a once thriving community like Welland? It is all well and good that a few souls continue the fight, but where are the movers and shakers of this area?
    Maybe the people who could really take matters in hand, the Timms, the Rankins, the Sharpes and the Campions, generally the default elites of this area, should be asked to step up … and if they are disinclined, they should be asked why not? How does hospital closure serve them?
    In fact they should be asked why they continue to bother living in the area if they won’t get involved in a matter as existential as the hospital issue. And these nice people are NOT getting any younger … they will most certainly NEED emergency medical help … timely, local and professional help in the not too distant future.

    As to the current batch of political leaders, it is time they pushed back at Wynne’s scorched earth policy and remind the powers that be that they were elected to serve ALL the people, even the NDP voting “deplorables” of Welland.


  2. Unfortunately, when they came for Fort Erie and Port Colborne, the other communities weren’t very interested in helping “Save Our Hospitals”. Just as we said then, the government continues to pick us off one at a time. After a while, there is no one left to help when those who failed to help when needed are finally on the chopping block themselves. Yet, there is still time. If all Niagara Region, not just, say, Welland, would fight to save the remaining older hospitals they could make a difference.
    The hope is where Wellanders were missing when Fort Erie needed help, those in Fort Erie and other areas will help Welland in any case. However, the remaining communities with older hospitals might just find a dwindled supply of those who care. This is kind of a “not in my backyard” phenomena. “It’s not my hospital,” the thinking goes, “so, why should I care.”
    And still, the Ontario Government continues to do damage to our health care system. I understand why. Where else will they get the billions needed to repair the damage they have done to our hydro system and to the other areas in which the Wynne government has wasted — in staggering fashion — our tax dollars?
    Ah, but will we at least remember in the next election. Probably not! Perhaps I should run to remind us.


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