Tag: Ont

Residents vow to keep fighting as Minden, Ont., emergency department closes

Patrick Porzuczek watched in disbelief  Thursday morning as the “emergency” and “H” signs were removed outside the hospital site in Minden, Ont., signifying the closure of its emergency department.

“It was extremely emotional for me because over the last six weeks this is what we’ve been fighting for — to keep that blue H and that ’emergency’ sign up,” said Porzuczek, one of the main organizers of public campaigns to save the ER. “Seeing those signs down, my heart breaks.”

READ MORE: Ontario renews summer ER staffing funding for 1 more year

June 1 marked the closure of the emergency department in Minden and with it a consolidation of services at the hospital in Haliburton, 30 kilometres north. In late April, Haliburton Highlands Health Services gave six weeks’ notice of the closure – citing ongoing severe staffing challenges as the main reason – to prevent further ER closures at one or both sites.

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She reported that in 2022 there were 20 reportable near-miss emergency department closures at the Haliburton site due to physician shortages — but none in Minden.

“The pressure on our staff is absolutely tremendous — it’s not something that was sustainable,” HHHS president and CEO Carolyn Plummer said at a Haliburton County council meeting on April 27.

Plummer on Thursday declined an interview with Global News Peterborough noting the “whole team is focused on making the transition to one ED site a success.” The board has stated no job losses will occur with the consolidation.

“The organization may have updates to share on the other side of the transition, and if so, such updates (will) be provided to media,” she stated.

Top: A sign outside the Minden hospital site on May 31, 2023. Bottom: A sign as of June 1, 2023.


COVID: Ont. mandates keep some from helping hospital crunch

About 160 veteran nurses, personal support workers and health-care technicians, along with their families, gathered in a church hall in Port Perry, Ont., in person or by video conference, on a snowy afternoon this past Saturday.

These distressed individuals have a message for patients waiting for health care in the province: we want to work on the front lines but are being shut out.

“I am ready, willing and able to work,” Lori Turnbull told CTV National News. But nobody will hire her.

The 58-year-old once worked in surgery and rehabilitation but was fired a year ago from a hospital in London, Ont., after a 30-year career.

In fact, all of the health workers in this unusual audience were terminated after declining to get two COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021, as required by all 140 of Ontario’s public hospitals and some nursing and retirement homes.

“I worked in emergency … for 20 years,” Casie Desveaux, a nurse from Hamilton, Ont., told CTV National News “I dedicated myself to that job.”

She now says she works in an office for her brother. She knows her hospital remains seriously understaffed.

“I worry … for the staff that are there … It is very scary,” she said.

The group at the church gathering wants Ontarians to know there are experienced front-line workers who want to return to duty but are blocked by vaccine policies imposed by hospitals in the province, despite Ontario itself not requiring health workers to be vaccinated.

“I think people were aware that we were fired or let go,” Anna Luxton, who worked as an emergency nurse, told CTV National News. “But I think since the province said they lifted the mandates last March that [people] figured that we would have

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