Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Holds Ontario Government to Account on Welland Hospital

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted June 2nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park – Ontario’s Health Minister gave Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff a commitment in the Legislature that he would do everything he can to keep Welland County General Hospital open.

The Welland Hospital site in Welland, Ontario is the largest remaining hospital facility of its kind still operating in south Niagara. How long will that last? File photo by Doug Draper

During Question Period, Oosterhoff raised the issue of elderly and ill residents in remote, rural communities having to travel almost an hour to reach an emergency room if the hospital were to close.

 “One elderly family is very concerned because they have no public transit and do not know how they will be able to receive the care they need and visit their loved ones in hospital,” Oosterhoff said during his exchange with Health Minister Eric Hoskins. “My question is simple and it’s to the minister: Why must you make seniors and families pay for the waste and mismanagement of this Liberal government?”

Hoskins said he would “do everything I could to keep the Welland hospital open” and that “no decision has been made in terms of the future of the Welland hospital.”

 “I will keep the Minister’s feet to the fire on the future of this vital hospital,” said Oosterhoff. “As I noted to him in Question Period, seniors and families are hurting because of Liberal mismanagement of health care. On their behalf, I will hold the Minister to account.”

 Here, from the official hansard for May 31st, is the exchange between the Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP and Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins –

Ontario Hansard, May 31, 2017

Hospital Funding

Mr. Sam Oosterhoff: Mr. Speaker, seniors and families in my riding are also hurting because of Liberal mismanagement of health care. Now they are afraid that the minister is going to close the Welland hospital. Closing this hospital would mean that the elderly and sick in remote, rural communities would have to travel almost an hour to reach an emergency room. One elderly family is very concerned because they have no public transit and do not know how they will be able to receive the care they need and visit their loved ones in hospital.

My question is simple and it’s to the minister: Why must you make seniors and families pay for the waste and mismanagement of this Liberal government?

Hon. Eric Hoskins: Perhaps the member opposite can check Hansard from about 40 minutes ago, when I specifically and, I think, emphatically expressed my commitment to do everything I could to keep the Welland hospital open.

I’ve met with the mayors throughout the region, including Mayor Campion. I’ve certainly met with the NDP, which has for some time, to their credit, unlike the PCs, addressed this as a concern of the communities involved.

Mr. Speaker, I will work with the community and with the LHIN and the local leadership to see what solution is best for that community. As I said before, there has been no decision made in terms of the future of the Welland hospital.

We are building a brand new hospital for the Niagara region. We’ve given them a $26-million planning grant. We’re going to continue with the capital investment. That commitment is in the budget—a budget that member voted against.

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

 

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