An Open Letter from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates to Ontario Premier Doug Ford
Posted July 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
RE: Immediate action required to meet Niagara’s health needs
‘I am writing today (this July 26th, 2022) regarding the alarming closure of emergency rooms across Ontario. As you well know, in the last COVID wave Niagara was allowed to be under-resourced which led to the unacceptable decision to cease services at Douglas Memorial Urgent Care in Fort Erie. Today’s urgent letter is a request to avert that situation from occurring again.
I am writing today to ask you to immediately direct Ministry of Health staff to connect with Niagara Health, assess the staffing situation in Niagara and take measures immediately to ensure that the people of Fort Erie are not once again left without their urgent care centre. I am also requesting your offices ensure the people of Fort Erie will not lose their healthcare services again.
When Douglas Memorial was ordered to close in 2021, a fast-growing town of over 32,000 residents was left without urgent care services. The community worked tirelessly to ensure the urgent care centre was reopened, and services restored. I am directly asking you today, as both the Premier and the Minister of Health, to take preventative measures immediately to ensure the community does not face that reality again.
Given the urgent nature of this request I am sending this correspondence digitally as well as in written form. You both have my direct contact and know that myself and my staff are ready to work with you any hour of every day to keep services operational in Fort Erie and across Niagara.
Premier Ford, given the escalating situation I am writing this letter as an early warning. We ask you to show leadership here and take immediate action to prevent any loss of services.
Sincerely, Wayne Gates, Member of Provincial Parliament for Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie
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Premier Ford’s response will most likely be “Fort Erie is growing too rapidly. By closing the urgent care/hospital the Ontario government will cause a slowdown of the population grow of Fort Erie. As well, the current population can arrange their need for urgent care by scheduling their medical needs between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday (except closed for holidays) at my friends’ Walk in Clinics. If absolutely necessary they can take a taxi to the nearest ER and walk home after treatment…walking exercise is good.”
Your loving caring Premier.
I had to drive to Niagara Falls in a blizzard when it was closed. Glad it wasn’t for a heart attack.
Closing the Fort Erie UCHCS will make a terribly broken ER situation in Niagara far worse. St Cat and Niagara Falls ERs are also UCHCS locations where most of the people going to them have minor ailments causing severe life threatening even lethal wait times for people who actually need Urgent Care waiting 4 to 8 hours and longer for the Care we need Urgently, and even then often not getting the help we need. Which I am convinced is a major part of a deliberate conspiracy by the American medical industry to destroy Ontario’s Public Health Care System from the inside thusly fomenting the fast growing public support to Privatize the entire System — for their benefit. We the people need to March in the Streets in protest against this conspiracy to destroy our Public Health Care System before it’s too late, which will be very very soon from now.