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  • Writer's pictureJessica Smith Cross

'We are begging': Durham residents call on province to stop closure of rural hospital's in-patient beds

The province is working closely with the hospital in its decision to move its in-patient beds, a spokesperson says

A busload of concerned citizens went to Queen's Park this week to urge the province to stop the planned closure of in-patient beds at a small hospital in Grey County.

The South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) announced in late April it will be moving the in-patient beds at its Durham hospital to two other hospitals in its local network as of June 3 due to a severe nursing shortage. 

The SBGHC has already reduced emergency department hours at that hospital and a nearby hospital in Chesley to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the Chesley site also closed on weekends, for the same reason.

"We are begging SBGHC, Premier (Doug) Ford and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones to come to the table," said Dawn McNab, chair of a local citizens committee, at a press conference at the legislature on Wednesday. She came with 380 letters of support for the hospital to deliver to Ford and Jones.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Jones said the minister has been in touch with the local MPP and mayor and the ministry is "working closely with the hospital directly" to help it navigate its decision to close the beds.

The spokesperson, Hannah Jensen, also characterized the hospital's changes as "refocus(ing) the function of their Durham site to primary care," and said that is what it was primarily being used for before the changes.


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