NIAGARA - Marit Stiles, Leader of the Ontario NDP, joined MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) and MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) in Welland, ON this morning to advocate for increased access to public health care across the province, including in Welland where after-hours emergency surgeries will no longer be taking place after February.
“The Ford government is making a clear choice to withhold billions of dollars in health care spending,” said Stiles. “We could be funding solutions in public health right now – instead, Ford’s decision is creating a staffing crisis in our health care system that he has no interest in fixing. Frontline health care workers are concerned about the impacts this will have on their community – and I share those concerns.”
At the end of February, the Welland Hospital will no longer be available for after-hours emergency surgeries. Nearby residents will be forced to drive to either St. Catharines or Niagara Falls for critical emergent cases.
“In 2021, I passed a motion at Queen’s Park, and received a commitment from the Ford government to ensure equitable hospital services throughout Niagara,” said Burch. “The Ford government committed to maintain full emergency department and acute care services in Welland – what happened to that promise? Ontarians deserve a government that keeps their promises, especially when their local health care is at stake”.
“Welland is just one example of what happens when public health care is not prioritized,” said Gates. “With Ford’s new legislation to fund for-profit clinics on the table, we’re going to see this situation happen again and again. When you have an emergency, you should be able to go to your local hospital for care.”
By 2028, two urgent care centres in Fort Erie and Port Colbourne are also scheduled to close.
“Ontarians deserve so much better,” said MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines). “Our Ontario NDP team are committed to spending every day in legislature bringing forward fresh solutions in public health care and ensuring that local care is available to all.”