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South Niagara chapter campaigns to keep Welland hospital open

Welland Hospital

Welland Hospital

The Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter is campaigning to pressure the Ontario government to keep the Welland hospital open.

The Welland Tribune reports, “The Niagara Health Coalition [is] organizing a Save Our Welland Hospital meeting planned for [tomorrow at] 7 p.m. at the Welland Civic Square Community Room, hoping ‘to put together a group of people that want to be involved and to be part of the fight back campaign’, [Niagara Health Coalition co-chair Sue] Hotte said.”

“President of the Niagara chapter of the Council of Canadians Fiona McMurran, who worked with the Niagara Health Coalition to organize Thursday’s meeting, said she’s hoping to hear the opinions and ideas of residents rather, than just politicians. ‘I’m really hoping to hear concern from citizens of Welland about what the plans are for the hospital … that is not necessarily linked to a level of government’, she said. Residents, she added, ‘have nothing at stake except the actual issue itself.'”

Former Welland mayor Barry Sharpe has commented that closing the hospital would create “a hole in the fabric of the community.” He’s noted, “If we needed to prove the point that there’s an intention here to downsize and privatize, for the second time now [Niagara Health System’s chief executive officer Kevin] Smith and the NHS have put the licenses for the extended care beds out for bids to try and sell them. That’s 75 long-term-care beds and 40 interim-care beds. Where do they end up?”

The Welland Hospital also provides ambulatory clinics, a Diabetes Education Centre, an emergency department, an Ontario Breast Screening Clinic, outpatient mental health services and a satellite dialysis centre among other services.