Minden Emergency Room Closure a Preview of Things to Come, Says Ontario Nurses’ Association

April 25, 2023

TORONTO, ON., April 25, 2023 – Without immediate action to retain and recruit more registered nurses (RNs) and health-care professionals in Ontario, the permanent closure of the emergency department (ER) at the Minden site of Haliburton Highlands Health Services is a preview of additional permanent ER closures in the future, says Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, RN.

“This is yet another example of the consequences of failing to fix the strain our hospital system is experiencing,” says Robinson. “The closure of Minden’s ER will put the lives of Ontarians needing emergency care at greater risk, leave those in the area with less access to emergency care, and is certain to occur at more Ontario hospitals if the province continues its failure to take meaningful action to retain and recruit nurses,” she says. “Efforts should certainly begin with a better hospital-sector contract for our registered nurses (RNs) and health-care professionals. After years of wage suppression and disrespect, tangible evidence is needed that their work-lives will improve in order to retain them, and bring back RNs who left the system over the past three years.”

Robinson adds that this past weekend, nurses were out talking to their communities about the impact of the Ford government’s policies, and what people can do to stop the erosion and underfunding of our public health-care system. She asks that the public join the call for hospital CEOs to support a better contract for those on the front lines.

“A respectful, negotiated contract was not reached for the 60,000 hospital nurses and health-care professionals who provide care to Ontarians, including in Minden,” notes Robinson. “The contract has now gone to arbitration, with a decision to be reached this summer. It’s clear that disrespecting our members has a direct impact on Ontarians’ access to health care. Our nurses have been there for their patients, and we hope the public will be there to support them.”

ONA is the union representing 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics and industry.


To arrange an interview, contact:

Sheree Bond shereeb@ona.org

Katherine Russo katheriner@ona.org