Connect  |  Newsletter  |  Donate

Aug. 26 rally in Minden protesting hospital closures

Posted: August 11, 2023

(August 10 2023)

By: Martin Halek, MyHaliburtonNow

Thousands of people are expected at the Minden Fairgrounds on Aug. 26, to rally against rural hospital closures. 

Patrick Porzuczek, founder

Patrick Porzuczek, founder of the Save the Minden ER campaign, says people from all over Ontario are banding together at 1:00 p.m. that day to protest hospital reductions and closures in their own communities. 

“That’s why all these people are coming out, to share their stories,” says Porzuczek. “To share what’s similar and what’s not. What to watch out for. People really need to start asking the question: ‘is our health care safe in our own rural communities’.” 

According to Porzuczek, it’s a community event with live music, with the goal of showing people they’re not alone in fighting local hospital closures. He says they’re trying to send a message to the Ontario government that rural communities will not sit quietly as their health care is taken away. 

“What the government is doing, allowing these hospital boards to be in charge of themselves, is wrong,” says Porzuczek. “They need to give more funding, better wages. They need to stop privatization and actually start listening to the people. Start doing what’s necessary to bring nurses, to bring doctors. Stop promising all these different programs and private agencies to be the new gold standard. Let’s bring public health care back to the public.” 

petition to reopen the Minden ER has garnered more than 7,500 in-person signatures, as Queen’s Park only accepts petitions in writing. Porzuczek says it’s been circulated around the province, and they expect many more signatures to come in by mail in the coming weeks. Those will be hand-delivered to the legislature when it re-convenes in September, alongside a larger anti-privatization protest by the Ontario Health Coalition. 

Porzuczek adds that although many might see the closure of the Minden ER as a local issue, it represents a much bigger problem. 

“This is something that’s not only affecting us, it’s affecting all of Ontario,” says Porzuczek. “The way they closed Minden [Hospital], with no public consultation, no communication, no plan, Minden is basically ground zero for how they’re going to be closing the other hospitals in all the rural communities. We have to bring all those other towns and people together, and we need to stop it.” 

Click here for original article