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June 03, 2024

Public Hearings on Protecting and Improving Local Hospitals: Community members Invited to give Input

Hospital doors with closed sign

In response to more than 1,200 closures of emergency departments and other local hospital services over the last year, the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is holding public hearings across Ontario to develop recommendations for the future of our local hospitals, including small, rural and northern community hospitals. Midsize or larger local hospitals will be included where they are at risk of closure.

The hearings are an opportunity for patients and community residents, service agencies, patient advocacy groups, concerned citizens, municipal leaders, health care professionals and others to provide their thoughts.

The results of the hearings will be collected in a report with recommendations on how to protect and improve, especially small and rural, local hospitals.

Hearings will be open to all Ontario residents. They will be held with both online (Zoom) and in-person options so everyone can attend and participate. People may submit written or spoken statements on their experiences and concerns to an expert, non-partisan panel.

The deadline to register to make a verbal presentation at their local hearing is Friday, June 7 at 5 pm. Presenters will be able to speak for a maximum of seven minutes. The deadline for written submissions is Thursday, June 20 at 5 pm.

“These hearings are a chance for people in rural and northern Ontario to share their experiences and to safeguard and improve our local hospitals, especially those at risk of closures,” said Brenda Scott, chair of the Coalition's small, rural & local hospital committee. “We want to hear what has been cut, what if anything has improved, and what is needed to improve equity, save our hospitals and improve health care for rural Ontario.”

“Decisions about our local hospitals have been removed from the local communities that have funded and relied upon them for generations,” added Natalie Mehra, executive director of the OHC. “Residents in these areas deserve the opportunity to share their concerns and influence decisions that will impact Grey Bruce Health Coalition

The expert panel includes:

  • Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition
  • Brenda Scott, Chair of Small and Rural Hospital Committee with Ontario Health Coalition and Co-chair of Grey Bruce Health Coalition
  • France Gélinas, NDP Health Critic and MPP for Nickel Belt (Ontario New Democratic Party)
  • Dr. Adil Shamji, Liberal Health Critic and MPP for Don Valley East (Ontario Liberal Party)
  • Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario and MPP for Guelph (Green Party of Ontario)
  • Graham Webb, Lawyer and Executive Director of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly
  • Additional doctors, nurses, health care worker leaders, and health professionals.

Here is the list of hearings in the local area. Everyone is welcome to attend. To make a verbal presentation and give your input at the hearings, you must register.

Chesley, Walkerton, Hanover, Durham and Region:
Chesley Community Centre Community Hall, 129 4th Ave SE. Chesley or join by Zoom
Tuesday, June 18: 10:30 am-12:30 pm

Wingham & Area
North Huron Wescast Community Complex, Hot Stove Lounge Meeting Room, 99 Kerr Dr. Wingham or join by Zoom
Tuesday, June 18: 2-3 pm

Mount Forest, Palmerston, Listowel, Durham and Region
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 134, 140 King St W. Mount Forest or join by Zoom
Tuesday, June 18: 4:30-5:30 pm


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