Niagara Falls MPP doesn’t want to see repeat closure of Fort Erie’s urgent care centre

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Published July 27, 2022 at 11:19 am

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates is telling Premier Doug Ford he does not want to see a repeat of the Fort Erie urgent care centre's closure, as it did from December to February.

Niagara MPP Wayne Gates has watched Fort Erie’s urgent care centre close once this pandemic and he’s making it clear to Premier Doug Ford that he’d rather not see a repeat of that.

Due to shortages in staff, Niagara Health was compelled to close the town’s Douglas Memorial Urgent Care so they could redistribute staffers to other facilities during the peak of the Omicron wave.

It was closed December 4, 2021 and wasn’t reopened until February 23 of this year, leaving 32,000 residents in Fort Erie dependent on being shuttled to a Port Colborne facility, instead.

Gates, whose riding also covers Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, is calling on Ford to make sure Niagara doesn’t get behind the eight ball again and see a second closure.

In a letter to both Ford and Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones, Gate is saying the Province should take action on Niagara’s health issues now, rather than wait until it’s too late.

When the Douglas Memorial Urgent Care was closed last December by Niagara Health, Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop was caught dumbfounded as the Town was given no prior notice.

At the time, Redekop made his concerns very well-known. “We have made ourselves clear with Niagara Health – we don’t support the temporary closure of our urgent care centre. We don’t support not being consulted before they made the decision.”

“And, we expect Niagara Health and other provincial authorities to get our urgent care centre back up and running as soon as they are able to secure staffing levels in their emergency rooms,” he added.

He reminded the regional health care system that despite major backlash from the Fort Erie community, the Douglas Memorial Hospital was forced into the Niagara Health System in 1998 and converted into an urgent care centre in 2009.

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