December 5th, 2023

NDP: Emergency rooms closing in record numbers as Ford starves the public health care system

QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, is calling for immediate action after an alarming new report reveals vital hospital services are seeing record high closures.

“We are starting to really feel the effects of Ford’s reckless and irresponsible decision to starve our public health care system of resources and people are really worried,” said Stiles. “We rely on public health care to be there when we need it – and this report show that Ford’s decisions are having a huge impact.”

The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) report found that vital hospital services such as emergency departments, maternity and obstetrics, outpatient laboratories and intensive care units, have been facing repeated closures at an unprecedented rate in the past 3 years.

“Hospitals are a safety net for everyone and these closure rates are absolutely shocking,”said MPP France Gélinas, NDP critic for Health. “Ford has driven burnt out health care professionals away from the system with his cruel wage-caps and diverted public money into private clinics. Now hospitals – especially in Northern Ontario – are bearing the brunt.”

At the beginning of 2023, Ford began diverting resources away from the public system, and into privately owned clinics.

“We deserve a government that takes care of people,” said Stiles. “I’ll be pushing Ford for an explanation today and your Ontario NDP will keep fighting for a system that truly works for everyone – not just wealthy insiders.”


In 2023, the OHC report has recorded:

  • 868 temporary or permanent emergency department closures (one is permanent)
  • 316 urgent care centre closures
  • Two outpatient laboratory closures
  • Eleven obstetrics unit closures
  • One ICU closure
  • One labour and delivery unit closure (long-term)