PORT COLBORNE — MPP for Niagara Centre, Jeff Burch, released the following statement in response to news that the Port Colborne Urgent Care centre will be forced to temporarily close this weekend due to ongoing staff shortages:
“It’s appalling to think that a senior or a child needing critical care this weekend may have to travel long distances or be forced to delay treatment because their closest urgent care centre is closed.
Niagara Health and its incredible workers have continued to go above and beyond during the difficult past few years, pushing themselves past the point of burn-out to maintain the services the Ford government refuses to adequately invest in. Ford’s wage-capping bill continues to crush our hospitals by driving nurses and other health professional away. Yet Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones refuse to admit there’s a crisis. This weekend, nearly 20,000 people will not have access to Port Colborne Urgent Care services they rely on. In my community, we are feeling the consequences of Ford’s devastating attack on health care workers’ paycheques.
Once again, I am urging the Ford Government to take the health care crisis seriously. We must immediately scrap Ford’s wage-squeezing Bill 124, give health care workers the wages and incentives they need, implement a funded return to nursing program, and treat our health care workers with the respect they deserve to keep them in the field. We must be assured that what is happening in Port Colborne this weekend will not happen again – or is not already happening elsewhere.”