May 31st, 2023

FACT CHECK: Minden ER closure is, in fact, a closure

QUEEN’S PARK – Through a statement to a local media outlet yesterday (also available below), Conservative Health Minister Sylvia Jones’s office tried to convince local residents that the closure of the Minden emergency room isn’t a closure.

Despite the fact that in a letter to community members, the head of Haliburton Highlands Health Services calls it a closure.

Despite a giant sign outside the Minden hospital that reads “EMERGENCY DEPT CLOSED JUNE 1 2023.”

Despite the outcry from residents, cottagers, kids’ summer camps, and local business owners who are concerned about their community losing emergency care.

The Minister’s office even suggested the Ministry is not involved in these decisions—another abdication of their responsibility.

In the same statement, the Minister’s office suggests that the local MPP, Conservative Laurie Scott (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock), has been in touch with the local hospital board. Curiously, her own constituents say she wouldn’t even welcome them or "lift her head” to look at them when they made the trip down to Queen’s Park yesterday.

The residents of Minden, and the rest of Ontarians, won’t be played for fools.

Statement from Minister of Health Sylvia Jones’ office:

"MPP Scott has always been a strong voice and advocate for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, working diligently to deliver investments and to connect the community to the high quality healthcare they deserve. MPP Scott’s efforts have resulted in our government making a number of investments, especially in healthcare, in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. This includes supporting critical upgrades and repairs at hospitals through the Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF), improving access to primary care through the expansion of Family Health Teams andbuilding more hospital beds at Ross Memorial Hospital. As the local MPP, MPP Scott has been in contact with Haliburton Health Services and will continue to offer her support as they navigate their decision to consolidate the Haliburton and Minden ED sites. What the NDP fails to understand is this consolidation was made by Haliburton Highlands Health Services board and leadership, as they are responsible for daily operational decisions, it is not a closure. The consolidation will ensure patients are receiving emergency care in the location that is best equipped to provide urgent acute care as the Minden site was used primarily to stabilize patients before being dispatched to larger centers and did not have any inpatient beds. The Minden site will remain open for some services and will continue to serve the community. Hospitals are independent corporation who are authorized to direct their own operations, including decisions respecting services that they provide and in what locations, the Ministry of Health is not involved in these decisions and to suggest so is false.”