OMA statement on Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay
Dr. Nadia Alam, President of the OMA
OMA statement on Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay
Dr. Nadia Alam, President of the OMA
August 13, 2018

Doctors in Ontario watched with growing concern last week as striking Unifor workers barred access to the Port Arthur Health Centre.

What began with angry statements in the media escalated to the construction of a metal fence barricade. Inflammatory speeches were followed by name-calling and objects thrown at patients trying to access their doctors. The Thunder Bay Police Department is investigating incidents of assault and vandalism to determine if criminal charges will be laid. On top of this, patients losing access to over 1000 medically necessary appointments is completely unacceptable.

Doctors are demanding answers from the authorities and accountability for those responsible. We must ensure that this is the last time this happens in Ontario. The right to strike is rightly protected under law. However, we must ensure that a patient’s right to medical care is never compromised again, no matter the labour dispute.

Going forward, I hope that all levels of government will join us in assuring that care is received without interruption

The team of physicians in Thunder Bay showed tremendous restraint and professionalism throughout these attacks. Despite difficult and trying circumstances, they never wavered from their commitment and responsibility to provide care to their community.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely.