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Two new hospitals for Niagara – but at what cost?

March 10th, 2023

The press and many of our politicians and health workers are very excited about another addition to our inventory of hospitals. West Lincoln Memorial and South Niagara are ready to be built. As a member of the general public, I join my neighbours in celebration of more hospital beds for our growing population. However, very important community hospitals will be lost to the towns of Port Colborne and Niagara Falls and what is planned for Welland is anybody’s guess. New brick and mortar give the politicians a warm and fuzzy feeling and being tangible, the quickest way for them to gain recognition for doing something.

I remember back a few short years when St. Catherines hospital opened, there was no improvement in health care. I can attest to that as in 2018, I spent 6 days in the most disgusting surroundings in the Emergency ward of this new hospital waiting for a bed so I could get on with cancer treatment to save my life.  Finally, after getting settled in a proper room and a comfortable bed, I found during some investigations that there was an overabundance of empty beds but no staff and no budget to properly fund these new facilities’ empty wings.

Another 3.6 Billion dollars will be spent on just one new facility and many more millions closing and renovating old facilities but will there be funds to hire and employ competent doctors, nurses and all the staff to support these professionals? I fear not!

Health professionals need to be trained now so we will have the staff when these new buildings are opened, where are the funds for this project and what steps are being taken?

Our leaders need to resist the glitz and glamour of new and beautiful expensive real-estate and put our taxes into hiring the best and most competent professionals to care for our growing population. Beautiful buildings with spacious lobbies and conference rooms go nowhere when the health of our people is sacrificed to impress the hospital visitor.

Paul D. Scott  

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