April 27, 2023
What is the government doing to ensure that emergency rooms in Ontario can stay open?
France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Minister of Health what the government will be doing to ensure that emergency rooms in Ontario hospitals do not have to keep closing.
“We heard what happened at Minden hospital; without any consultation, the residents were told their emergency room will closed for ever on June 1st. Now let’s look at Carleton Place hospital. The local hospital was forced to close its emergency department overnight because there weren’t enough staff to keep it open. A week before, it was its sister hospital that was closed overnight due to staff shortages—its third closure in as many months.
Ontario had exactly one, yes one, unplanned emergency room closure in the last 15 years. But in the last year alone we’ve now had 160, emergency room closures. 160 closures in a single year. This isn’t normal, Speaker, and we should not pretend that it is. What new measures will the Premier take today to stop the closure of emergency rooms across our province?”
This high number of emergency room closures last year was reported by the Ottawa Citizen on March 28th, 2023. A hundred and sixty emergency room closures in one year under this minister’s watch.
Let’s go to Chesley. In Chesley right now, if a child requires care on a Saturday, they are out of luck. Their local emergency room is now closed evenings and weekends due to staff shortages. People are worried that this is a sign that the end is near for their hospital. The member from Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound said that he wants Chesley hospital to return to full service. But it does not look good, Speaker. Would the Premier agree the people of Chesley deserve the services of a full-time emergency room? What will the government do to keep the emergency rooms open in our province?”
The Ontario Nurses Association says the conservative government Bill 124 is directly related to staff shortages.