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Fight to save hospital heads to Queen’s Park

Posted: June 15, 2017

Members of the community championing the fight to save Welland’s hospital and other hospitals in Niagara are heading to Queen’s Park next Wednesday.

Sue Hotte, chair of the Niagara Health Coalition, said there is still room for more people on the bus that will leave from Welland’s Market Square to head to Toronto. She said Friday she didn’t have the exact number of people going, but encourages others to come.

She said the message the Niagara Health Coalition, the Save Our Welland Hospital group and the Ontario Health Coalition are bringing to the MPPs and party leaders is the same as it has been all along.

“What we’re pushing is that we need our hospitals,” she said. “We need to have them open.”

She said it’s unheard of for a hospital to close in a community like Welland, which has over 50,000 residents and serves 100,000 people. Closing hospitals is denying health care access to those people, she added.

Hotte said showing up in person gives the group the opportunity to lobby with the MPPs and party leaders to express their concerns face-to-face. The group is also bringing with them 2,500 letters from individuals concerned for the hospital’s future to strengthen the message.

The reason the group continues to do this, she said, is because there has been no official announcement made by the provincial government to close the doors of the Welland hospital and other hospitals at risk of closing. There isn’t a date set yet.

“We have to make sure they never say that,” she said.

She said those who can’t make it for this trip to Queen’s Park should write to the MPP Cindy Forster and their municipal and regional leaders to make sure their concerns are heard.

The bus for Queen’s Park leaves at 8 a.m. on May 31. Those interested in going are asked to call Hotte at 905-932-1646 for more information and so the group can prepare a list of those going.

lbarton@postmedia.com

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