Ontario Health Coalition/Media Conference - New report details more than 900 hospital service closures: Residents from hard hit communities to bring messages to Doug Ford

TORONTO, Dec. 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Across Ontario, the frequency and severity of hospital closures is unprecedented and it’s getting worse. That’s the message of a new report from the Ontario Health Coalition that details almost a thousand closures of the most urgent of our local hospitals’ services. The report is being released in a press conference featuring residents, nurses, and a physician from the hardest hit towns and regions across Ontario. The press conference will be in front of the main legislative building at Queen’s Park. After the press conference, the community representatives will try to get their message to Doug Ford and his government.

What: Press conference to release new report on hospital service closures across Ontario

When: Tuesday, December 5 at 9:45 a.m.

Where: Outside in front of the main, south-facing doors of the main legislative building on the designated part of the driveway at Queen’s Park, Toronto

Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
Brenda Scott, Chesley Hospital Community Support Committee
Paul Stimson, Hanover resident who uses the Chesley hospital
Maarten Bokhuot, MD (ret’d), retired physician and Clinton resident
Heather Kelley, resident of Fort Erie
Bonnie Roe, resident of Minden
Sue Hotte, resident of Niagara
Lisa Howard, resident of Arnprior
Dot Klein, RN (ret’d), resident of Sudbury

Ontario’s vital hospital services, such as emergency departments, maternity and obstetrics, outpatient laboratories and intensive care units, have been subject to repeated closures. These closures are unprecedented and they are worsening. The duration of closures is getting longer. Multiple towns across regions are closing vital services at the same time. Public notice is often last minute. Remote communities in the north are experiencing long term closures of vital services such as labour and delivery and outpatient laboratories, and repeated emergency department closures or threats of closures. Rural communities across mid-Ontario and the south are particularly hard hit, but we are also seeing closures of vital services in the largest cities of the province. Emergency departments in particular are being repeatedly closed down in the daytime, overnight, on weekends, or for days to weeks. The rates of closure are staggering.

For more information: Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition (416) 230-6402 (cell)