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Minden residents to call for increased healthcare funding at Queen's Park this week

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Nearly one year after its emergency department was closed, residents from Minden Hills, Ont. will be at Queen's Park this week to call for increased healthcare funding.

A press release from the Reopen the Minden ER group states that it would "once again" be taking its fight to Queen's Park on Monday to participate in public hearings over Ontario's Budget.

"The 2024 Budget, 'Building a Better Ontario,' offers a 4% increase in overall healthcare spending. However, the current budget fails to address the specific challenges faced by rural communities like ours," it stated. "The permanent closure of the Minden ER has had a detrimental impact on our community. Minden has lost 11 highly skilled emergency room doctors who were dedicated to serving our town. This loss has placed an even greater strain on emergency healthcare services in our area, exacerbating the challenges faced by our residents."

Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) announced the emergency department closure last April, citing "serious staffing shortages" and the inability to retain healthcare workers.

The hospital's emergency services were then officially consolidated into Haliburton's hospital on June 1, a nearly 30-minute drive from Minden.

"The Minden community continues to suffer, and urgent action is required to stabilize our region and reopen the Minden ER," stated the group. "We call upon the Ontario government to prioritize the healthcare needs of rural communities and ensure equitable access to quality medical services and transportation options."

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