Hospital Bed Closure Shows Government Misguided on Health Funding

February 27, 2014

QUEEN’S PARK – Winchester District Memorial Hospital announced the permanent closure of 14 beds earlier today, which equates to more than 22% of their total capacity. MPP Jim McDonell is concerned with the impact this will have on the community. The WDMH recently received the highest honour from Accreditation Canada, when they were given the designation “Accreditation with Exemplary Standing”.

“At a time when the senior population of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry has increased and requires access to acute and chronic healthcare, the Government’s funding approach is causing local beds to close” – said MPP Jim McDonell. “We have seen the present government slowly and silently eroding the provision of health services. While they may claim to be encouraging home care and other alternative health provisions, they focus more on creating expensive levels of administration and agencies such as Local Health Integration Networks, rather than actually delivering patient services. WDMH provides an essential service in an area that does not have easy access to either the Cornwall area or Ottawa hospitals – their ability to respond to any health situation that may arise is dependent on their capacity.”

The Auditor General may undertake a review of Community Care Access Centres, the agency responsible for administering money allocated for home care. According to some media, some CCAC’s top executives earn approximately $300,000 per year in salary.

“The Liberal government removes essential funding from modern and necessary hospitals such as WDMH, but can always find $1.1 billion to waste cancelling power plants, or $2 billion to throw away at E-Health” – MPP McDonell concluded. “WDMH is an essential service for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, providing excellent care and stable, local skilled jobs. Enough is enough. The funding cuts that led to this closure are unacceptable and the Minister of Health must be held to account. I have created a petition against the closure of the 14 beds at WDMH, I encourage the community to sign in so that I can present it in the Legislature and show the Minister the terrific support for our highly recognized hospital.  It is available on my website and at my office”.

The Minister of Health, the Honourable Deb Matthews, was not in the Legislature to take questions during Question Period.