Jeff Burch MPP, Niagara Centre

Government of Ontario

MPPs Burch and Gates demand immediate support for Niagara Health in wake of overnight urgent care closures at Fort Erie and Port Port Colborne

Published on May 31, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) call for emergency support following news that urgent care centres at Fort Erie and Port Colborne will be closed overnight for the foreseeable future.

Beginning July 5th, hours of operation in both Port Colbourne and Fort Erie’s urgent care centres will be reduced to 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

“Ford has the means to provide immediate emergency funding for Fort Erie, an urgent care centre in my community that helps take the burden off our emergency rooms”, said Gates. “We have a crisis in our health care system, here in Fort Erie and across the province of Ontario because this government has refused to address healthcare staffing shortages. The people of Fort Erie deserve better - it’s time for Ford to step up to the plate and show some leadership and support. Ending his appeal of unconstitutional Bill 124 and cancelling Bill 60 would be a good start”.

This is the second time in just over a year that the Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre has been closed or reduced their hours. Port Colboune’s urgent care centre faced closures as recently as October 2022.

“I am extremely concerned and disappointed that it has come to this,” said Burch. “Around 10,000 people in Port Colborne are without a family physician, and folks that rely on the Port Colborne and Fort Erie Urgent Care Centres will now need to travel to other facilities in Niagara which often already operate above 100 per cent capacity. With the recent closure of after-hour emergency surgical services at the Welland Hospital, South Niagara families are being disproportionately impacted. Niagara deserves better and the Ontario NDP will continue to fight for patients and frontline staff.”

Emergency Departments in Niagara Falls, Welland and St. Catharines will still be open to all who need it. However, Niagara Health is advising that patients should be prepared for long waits if the visit is not urgent.