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  • Writer's pictureOntario Health Coalition

Are Ontario Hospitals Coping with the Crisis of ER Closures?

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

Number of Ontario hospital emergency closures soars to new record: Health Coalition demands Ford government finally take action

December 5, 2023
Doing Nothing About Health Care by Theo Moudakis, 13 Jan 2023; https://twitter.com/TheoMoudakis/status/1613885582006185984

Number of Ontario hospital emergency closures soars to new record: Health Coalition demands Ford government finally take action Toronto - A new report, Unprecedented and Worsening: Ontario’s Local Hospital Closures 2023 released by the Ontario Health Coalition at Queen’s Park this morning, paints a stark picture of a health care system that has tipped into collapse.


Across Ontario, vital hospital services, such as emergency departments, maternity and obstetrics, outpatient laboratories and intensive care units, have been subject to repeated closures in the last three years. Those closures were unprecedented. Now, the Coalition found that the number of emergency department closures has increased even more. Not only are emergency departments shuttered for evenings, overnights, weekends or weeks and months at a time, but so too are labour and delivery units, obstetrics, outpatient laboratories, urgent care centres and intensive care units. The duration of closures is getting longer. Multiple towns across regions are closing vital services at the same time. Public notice is often last minute.


In its report released today, the Ontario Health Coalition tracked the closures of these urgent hospital services and found the following closures to date in 2023:

• 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, and;

• one labour and delivery unit closure (long-term).


In total, there have been 1,199 closures of vital hospital services this year up until November 24, meaning these services have temporarily or permanently closed in 1,199 instances. Consequently, 31,055 hours of care (equivalent to 3.44 years) have been lost to local communities this year so far.




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