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What to say to anyone who says “Harris Closed ALL those Hospitals”

For years, I’ve been reading an endless stream of rants from progressive socialists who have gone on and on, ad nauseam about how Mike Harris destroyed the health care system in Ontario by closing 29 (or 32, depending on who you ask) hospitals across Ontario.  Just recently (2014) an article in the Canadian Medical Journal, by Charlotte Gray, an Ottawa-based reporter, cited “40 hospitals”.  Amazing that although Harris has been out of office for almost 13 years, he’s still closing hospitals.  Charlotte Gray, incidentally, has received awards for her outstanding journalism.  How ironic that she continues to perpetuate this outrageous lie, without doing any background research whatsoever.

Finally one day, I started pressing these useful liberal tools for the exact names of all the hospitals that Mike Harris supposedly closed.  “Well…ummm….uh….Well I don’t know the names, but you can mark my word, I know for a fact that Mike Harris closed 29 hospitals!!!”

So I took it upon myself to do a little research and this is what I found.

Here’s the list of hospitals that the Liberals and their minions have been saying that Harris supposedly closed.

Brockville Psychiatric Hospital
Hotel Dieu-Grace Site (Windsor)
Hotel Dieu Hospital (Kingston)
Providence Continuing Care Centre, St. Vincent de Paul site (Kingston)
Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital
St. Peter’s Hospital (Hamilton)
St. Joseph’s Hospital (Chatham)
Northumberland HealthCare Corp., Port Hope site
St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Peterborough)
St. Joseph’s Hospital (Brantford)
St. Joseph’s Health Centre (London)
London Health Sciences Centre, South St. site
London Psychiatric Hospital
St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital
St. Bernard’s Hospital
Wellesley-Central Hospital (Toronto)
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hillcrest site (Toronto)
Toronto: Doctors Hospital
Humber River Regional Hospital, Northwestern site (Toronto)
Orthopedic & Arthritic Hospital (Toronto)
Riverdale Hospital (Toronto)
Runnymeade Chronic Care Hospital (Toronto)
Salvation Army Grace Hospital (Toronto)
Whitby General Hospital
Salvation Army Grace Hospital (Ottawa)
Pembroke Civic Hospital
Sudbury Memorial Hospital
Subbury General Hospital
Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, McKellar site
Hogarth-Westmount Hospital (Thunder Bay)
Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital (Thunder Bay)
Lakefield Hospital (private)
Sidbrook Hospital (private)
Grace Villa (private)
Dewson Hospital (private)

I decided to do a cursory check to see how many of these hospitals were in fact closed down.   How?  I called the hospitals.  And here’s what I found….

Brockville Psychiatric Hospital ( a specialized 161-bed mental health facility)  is still open — was never closed  Website

Hotel Dieu-Grace Site (Windsor) — amalgamated with the Salvation Army’s Grace Hospital and old building torn down.   Website

Hotel Dieu Hospital (Kingston) — still open — was never closed.  Updated May 2018  *** Please see Stacy’s comment below with more accurate information regarding this facility.  Website 

Providence Continuing Care Centre, St. Vincent de Paul site (Kingston) — still there….never closed   Website 

St. Peter’s Hospital (Hamilton) — still there — never closed  Website

St. Joseph’s Hospital (Chatham) still there….now amalgamated under Chatham Kent Health Alliance….never closed   Website

Northumberland Healthcare —  Now Northumberland Hills Hospital  Website  

St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Peterborough) — amalgamated with Peterborough Civic Hospital   Information on amalgamation and new facility here

Joseph’s Hospital (Brantford) — still there….was amalgamated with Brantford General Hospital.  The original building is now a long term care facility.  It also houses an FHO, a urogists office, outpatient nursing facilities among other services and has a direct relationship with a wonderful hospice for the dying. (updated June 2018)  ** Thanks to Ronald and Dave for the updated information.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre (London) — still there — never closed   Website

London Health Sciences Centre, South St. site — Closed in 2013 — That would be under Kathleen Wynne’s watch.  Website

St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital — Closed in 2013 — Once again, that would be under Kathleen Wynne’s watch.

St. Bernard’s Hospital Wellesley-Central Hospital (Toronto) — closed

Wellesley Hospital had most of its services transferred to the more modern and larger facility of St. Michael’s hospital.  The old site is now the Wellesley Institute, a non-profit health research facility.   Website

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hillcrest site (Toronto) — merged with Hillcrest Hospital to become the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute — the largest rehabilitation hospital in Canada

Toronto: Doctors Hospital – still there, downsized to a clinic

Humber River Regional Hospital, Northwestern site (Toronto) —  The old site was closed down.  A new facility was built and is now one of Canada’s largest regional acute care hospitals   Website

Orthopedic & Arthritic Hospital (Toronto) — still there, never closed  Website

Riverdale Hospital (Toronto) — still there (as of 2014) but slated for demolition to make way for new health facility

Runnymeade Chronic Care Hospital (Toronto) – still there. Now called the Runnymeade Health Care Centre

Salvation Army Grace Hospital (Toronto) – still there. Never closed  Website

Whitby General Hospital — Now called Lakeridge Health Whitby – specializes in palliative care, dementia and dialysis services   Website 

Salvation Army Grace Hospital (Ottawa) — Now a retirement home.

Pembroke Civic Hospital – Still there, although now a lab.  Patient care was amalgamated with Pembroke Regional.

Sudbury Memorial Hospital – Amalgamated with Sudbury General and Laurentian Hospital into one massive new facility that was completed in 2010 and is now called Health Sciences North   Website

Sudbury General Hospital – (See above) — amalgamated with Sudbury Memorial and Laurentian Hospital and relocated into a new facility that was completed in 2010.

Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, McKellar site — Now the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Hogarth-Westmount Hospital (Thunder Bay) – still there, never closed.  Now a long term care facility.

Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital (Thunder Bay) – amalgamated under St. Josephs Health Care Group.  Website

Lakefield Hospital (private) – closed 10 years ago (that would be under McGuinty’s watch)

Sidbrook Hospital (private)

Grace Villa (private)

Dewson Hospital (private)

*** June 6, 2014 — Update:  The question of Riverside Hospital in Ottawa was raised.  Thanks to Anne Marie for this additional info:

In Ottawa, there was an ‘amalgamation’ of sorts, regarding Hospitals. The Civic and General became the ‘Ottawa Hospital’. The Riverside is in very close proximity to the General Campus, CHEO, is beside the General. The need for another hospital in such close proximity to those, was redundant. The Riverside became a facility for testing, screening and minor surgeries. In addition, around the same time, the Queensway Carleton Hospital was developed and expanded. As it is more deeply in the West end of Ottawa, it helped service the needs in that region.

This told me enough to realize that as usual, the more times a lie is told, the bigger it gets.  In the case of the Liberal Party of Ontario, though, their lies always start off as whoppers. — DQ


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19 Comments on “What to say to anyone who says “Harris Closed ALL those Hospitals””

  1. Patrick January 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    We need an election called when the Legislature resumes sitting on February 18th! Visit http://www.statusquohastogo.ca sign up for my newsletter and petition for an election! info@statusquohastogo.ca

  2. Chris May 23, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

    Hotel Dieu grace hospital site was closed and building was knocked down. Also There was the Windsor west hospital that is now a long term care facility. We didnt have hallway healthcare until 15 years of liberals and that’s a fact. But they always bring Harris up. From walkerton to healthcare….its getting old.

  3. Stacy N May 24, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

    Hotel Dieu in Kingston, ON is near Kingston General Hospital.
    HDH used to be a functional community hospital it’s now a collection of clinics, a day surgery centre and urgent care from 0800-2200. I wouldn’t say it’s closed, but it’s not a hospital either.
    At KGH there’s 25-30 admitted patients in ER most of the time, the hospital operates near or over 100% capacity. Hallway nursing is an everyday occurance whether its the admitted patient or the ER patient parked in the hallway of ER. When there’s too many critical ICU patients overflow happens into PAR or CSU, which affects the functioning of the OR. There’s a ripple effect with too many patients in any of the departments.
    Having a less acute hospital nearby would be wonderful. A lot of the problem is inadequate forward flow; there’s a long waitlist for seniors facilities with nursing services – both assisted living and total care. So there ends up being seniors living at the hospital while waiting for a nursing home bed – which isn’t good for them either. There’s also a backlog with setting up community services for people that can go home with care.
    It sounds like inefficiencies in the system but across the board all programs are planning for early discharges. As a result the people working in these roles to help discharge patients are overburdened.
    There’s no inefficiencies in the system left to fix; there’s too much being asked of the system. The health care system depends on human beings, not machines that can be programmed.
    There’s too much being asked of the system while at the same time there are perfectly good hospitals capable of providing 24 hour care that are being under utilized as clinics.

    • Donna Quixote June 4, 2018 at 10:48 am #

      Thank you Stacy. We count on people who live near these facilities to give us more accurate information. I can only go by what I’m told at the time that I call them. I will make note to see your comment.

  4. Ronald Hill June 4, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    St. Joseph’s hospital in Brantford was not “downsized” to a clinic!! Are you serious??? Have you seen it? A 5 storey “clinic”!!! It has been turned into a hospice for the dying, hardly a clinic….

    • Donna Quixote June 4, 2018 at 10:45 am #

      That’s what I was told when I called them. If that is incorrect, thank you for the updated information. We rely on people who are in the know to advise us with the correct information. Thank you, Ronald. I will update the article.

      • Dave Pugh June 4, 2018 at 7:17 pm #

        Not quite accurate. St Joseph’s Brantford was amalgamated with Brantford General Hospital in 1999 (I believe). The physical plant is now a long term care facility. It also houses an FHO, a urogists office, outpatient nursing facilities among other services and has a direct relationship with a wonderful hospice (as mentioned above).

      • Donna Quixote June 5, 2018 at 1:15 am #

        Thanks for your input Dave. I will update.

  5. Charles June 5, 2018 at 10:49 pm #

    Many of those amalgamated hospitals resulted in fewer care beds. Sudbury lost 230 beds. More beds then either of the 2 merged hospitals had – went from 670 to 440. Wonder why there is hallway medicine. While you try to justify Harris how about researching the whole truth instead of a slanted half truth. You are no better than our politicians!

    • Donna Quixote June 6, 2018 at 4:56 am #

      You apparently are missing the point. Mike Harris did not close 28, 32 or 40 hospitals as has been said for almost 20 years now. Some of the ones that were amalgamated were because the older hospitals were in such disrepair, they were either dangerous to keep open, or would have cost too much to renovate. I’m not making any of these things up. This is what I was told when I called each facility.

      You might want to check into how many hospitals the Liberals have actually closed since taking office. How many previously covered OHIP services are now user-pay.

      The “health premium” that we’ve all been paying since McGuinty’s first year — 2003 — was supposed to be used ONLY for health services. That’s what Dalton promised us. 14 years later, we found out the funds actually went into general revenue and used for everything else.

      Our health care services are in crisis mode because of 15 years of gross mismanagement by the Liberal Party. Billions and billions of dollars lost to scandals and incompetence that could have gone towards healthcare.

      • Grace Jeffrey June 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm #


      • Johanna June 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm #

        Very interesting article. Thank you for providing more in depth research on this topic. I would be interested to know how many acute care beds have been eliminated over the years. Clearly some of these health care buildings are being re-purposed for long term care or out patient clinics. But the bottom line is the acute care availability seems to becoming increasingly more scarce with a big emphasis now on early discharge, sending them back into the community as early as possible into the community…quite often resulting in re-admissions. Please also note that there are several psych hospitals that actually did close. These patients that were deinstitutionalized now take up a lot of resources in our emergency rooms and acute care beds in hospitals.

      • Donna Quixote June 7, 2018 at 10:34 pm #

        That’s one area that I haven’t delved into, very much. I do know that some psych facilities closed under the Liberals. Not sure about during the Harris years. I appreciate your feedback, Johanna. Thanks.


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