Jeff Burch MPP, Niagara Centre

Government of Ontario

Port Colborne Urgent Care

"We have urgent care centres where hospitals used to be. Shutting down those urgent care centres is being discussed in places like Port Colborne and Fort Erie.

Folks in Port Colborne—which is in my riding—have to travel to Welland, to the Welland hospital, if they’re seeking emergency services. Well, as of a couple of months ago, if somebody from Port Colborne comes to Welland and they need emergency surgery, for example, for an appendix, where it’s recommended within an hour, guess what they have to do? They have to wait for an ambulance to come and take them to another hospital. In a region where off-load delays are a huge problem, that is creating a huge amount of stress and anxiety for people in the community. Many front-line doctors, nurses and medical professionals have made clear to me that losing those services will almost certainly result in avoidable deaths for patients who need to be in an operating room within an hour.

From 2018 to 2020, the Welland hospital ran at over 100% capacity, as did all of the Niagara hospital sites...

As a region, Niagara surpassed both national and provincial average growth rates, increasing its overall population by 6.7% from 2016 to 2021.

The city of Thorold, where I live, had an increase of 26.7%. It’s the eighth-fastest-growing community in all of Canada, and here we have emergency services being cut, reduced and completely removed from a local hospital."


Jeff Burch Ontario Hansard - 16-May 2023