Here is Why Niagara’s South End is Not a Good Place for Older People with Health Conditions to Live
A Brief Comment from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by a News Release from Niagara Health
Posted October 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
From Doug Draper –
Medical service shortages in Niagara, Ontario’s southern tier – however “temporary” or longer term – could prove to be catastropic for any of us who may need them in a life-threatening situation now.
And in Niagara, they could have been predicted more than a decade ago when the then Niagara Health System, under the awful leadership of then CEO Debbie Sevenpifer and then NHS board leaders like Betty Lou Souter – stubbornly pushed ahead with plans to build a new super-hospital for Niagara in the region’s north end rather than somewhere in the centre of our region where everyone would have more equal access to it.
So here we are, with that large, state-of-the-art hospital in the west end of St. Catharines, closer to Lincoln, Grimsby and Stoney Creek than to Fort Erie or Port Colborne, while residents in the south end saw their hospitals reduced to chronic care and urgent cares services or less. (You might recall that Sevenpifer and company told people in the south end at the time – people in Port Colborne and Fort Erie and Wainfleet – that the Niagara Health System would not reduce services at their hospitals.)
Now we have Niagara Health, the region’s overseer of amalgamated hospital services, telling us that this Thanksgiving weekend, there will be a temporary closure of urgent care services in Port Colborne because of staff shortages.
I love the south end of Niagara and so many members of my family made home there, but I do not understand why anyone, especially more senior members of our community who might suddenly find themselves or their loves ones facing a medical emergency, would want to live there.
I said it many years ago and I will say it again – the support so many municipal and provincial leaders gave to building a super-hospital for Niagara in our region’s north end – is one of the glaring examples of bad planning in this region.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
MEDIA RELEASE from Niagara Health
Staffing shortage leads to 16-hour overnight temporary closure of Port Colborne Urgent Care Centre
Due to a staffing shortage, the Port Colborne Urgent Care Centre (UCC) is required to temporarily close on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 4 p.m., and will reopen on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 8 a.m.
As with other hospitals across the province, this temporary closure is the result of physician shortages and is a measure of last resort. Despite exhaustive efforts, including seeking assistance from our partners outside of Niagara, we have been unable to safely staff the Port Colborne UCC during this time period.
More than ever, it is important to only visit the Emergency Departments when in need of serious medical attention. For all other health concerns, members of the public are asked to:
* Contact their primary care provider or go to a walk-in clinic
* Call Health Connect Ontario at 8-1-1 to chat with a registered nurse 24/7
* Visit the Fort Erie UCC, which remains open 24/7 at 230 Bertie Street
As a reminder, our new virtual urgent care service operates Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit UrgentCareOntario.ca<https://www.urgentcareontario.ca/> to make an appointment. Please note the virtual service will be closed on Monday, Oct. 10.
Niagara Health continues to face immense pressures, and like hospitals across the province, we are aligning our services to our available staffing levels. We are looking at all options to prioritize the delivery of safe, quality care for patients while supporting the wellness of our staff and physicians.
We understand the inconvenience this temporary closure may cause and ask for the public’s understanding and patience.
Learn more about healthcare options in the community at niagarahealth.on.ca/site/emergency-and-urgent-care<https://www.niagarahealth.on.ca/site/emergency-and-urgent-care>
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