Winchester Hospital CEO Cholly Boland Responds to MPP Jim McDonell Press Release on Bed Closures – Feb 27, 2014

winchester hospital

CFN –  Mixed communications coming in regarding some bed closures at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital.

PC MPP Jim McDonell sent out the following press release:

Winchester District Memorial Hospital announced the permanent closure of 14 beds earlier today, which equates to more than 22% of their total capacity. MPP Jim McDonell is concerned with the impact this will have on the community. The WDMH recently received the highest honour from Accreditation Canada, when they were given the designation “Accreditation with Exemplary Standing”.


“At a time when the senior population of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry has increased and requires access to acute and chronic healthcare, the Government’s funding approach is causing local beds to close” – said MPP Jim McDonell. “We have seen the present government slowly and silently eroding the provision of health services. While they may claim to be encouraging home care and other alternative health provisions, they focus more on creating expensive levels of administration and agencies such as Local Health Integration Networks, rather than actually delivering patient services. WDMH provides an essential service in an area that does not have easy access to either the Cornwall area or Ottawa hospitals – their ability to respond to any health situation that may arise is dependent on their capacity.”


The Auditor General may undertake a review of Community Care Access Centres, the agency responsible for administering money allocated for home care. According to some media, some CCAC’s top executives earn approximately $300,000 per year in salary.


“The Liberal government removes essential funding from modern and necessary hospitals such as WDMH, but can always find $1.1 billion to waste cancelling power plants, or $2 billion to throw away at E-Health” – MPP McDonell concluded. “WDMH is an essential service for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, providing excellent care and stable, local skilled jobs. Enough is enough. The funding cuts that led to this closure are unacceptable and the Minister of Health must be held to account. I have created a petition against the closure of the 14 beds at WDMH, I encourage the community to sign in so that I can present it in the Legislature and show the Minister the terrific support for our highly recognized hospital.  It is available on my website and at my office”.


The Minister of Health, the Honourable Deb Matthews, was not in the Legislature to take questions during Question Period.

Cholly Boland, CEO of the hospital sent in the following response to MPP McDonell’s release:

While it is factually correct, it contradicts the message the hospital is giving the community and the message the CEO gave to MPP McDonell.

Cholly  BolandIt omits the fact that these beds have not been in use for over a year, and that these changes will not impact patient care nor the community.

What are your thoughts CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.

Celebrate South Stormont



  1. Many thanks, to the Winchester Memorial Hospital’s CEO, Mr. Boland for setting the record straight on the “alleged” bed closures. It would appear that our local MPP & his side-kick David Murphy, pulled the trigger a little quick ? Mr Boland, please continue to provide the wonderful care that “WDMH” has become known for !

  2. So the rooms are just locked for any future need then, but has funding been removed, changed or stopped for them? Are any staff being reassigned, or any reduction in hours? What does change?

  3. Maybe those 14 beds can go to CCH. Reliable sources told me yesterday that ADMITTED patients have homes in the hallways of 6th and JMP. These are not emergency holding patients, these are admitted patients. Someone is not minding the shop!

  4. @ Melor…

    I think with CCH a lot of it has to do with the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors being closed while they renovate. Once the renovations are complete the bed situation should be back to normal. I was a patient there during the Christmas break and my room was in the maternity ward. It was very quiet, I thought it would have been noisy.

  5. Bill Parisien
    I think you read words that are not stated by Jim. He merely used this as a stone to toss at the liberals. . There is nothing inaccurate in his letter.

    Some questions for Mr. Boland

    Why were the beds not used?
    With these bed closures it is a common practice for a facility to review and revamp staffing, Less productivity means less employees. Is this the case over the next couple few years?
    If so this in fact will impact patient care and the community do you not agree?
    Should the need arise how much would it cost to open these beds?
    If staff reduction occurs due to the closures what will become of the space more offices such as the case with CCH?

    What is happening now is too late to fix; we need to worry about tomorrow or next year and onward. Go Jim!!!

  6. Is this announcement a volley shot between the liberal government and the conservative M.P.P. for our riding?
    What political stripe does our hospital CEO wear?
    If these 14 beds have not been used in the past year, then we’re the 10 nursing positions surplus for 12 months? If surplus, why did it take so long find out and if not then why are they being eliminated now?
    As for the statement by CEO Cholly that the changes it will not effect the community I find it hard to except. First the bed closure once gone will be difficult to get back and is troubling as our population ages. Secondly, think of the impact of losing 10 nursing position and not only the impact of care at the hospital but the loss of their salary in our community. After all if they work in the community then the chances are they live in the community and spend their money in the community.
    Enough of this political posturing, work together for the betterment of our hospital!!
    Do not get ourselves into the same position that the local hospital in Picton Ontario is in as they fight to save their institution within the LIN Network in their area from becoming nothing more than a first aid post (follow their fight on their website).
    Will watch with interpretation as these developments go forward.

  7. Morning Hailey,

    ” If staff reduction occurs due to the closures what will become of the space more offices such as the case with CCH?”
    We most certainly agree on this point ! lol

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