Local MPP Jeff Yurek questions closure of Cardiac Fitness Institute

London Health Sciences Centre, Victoria Hospital sign, seen on Sept. 6, 2017. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

A local Progressive Conservative MPP made one final last-ditch attempt to save a long-running program for cardiac patients.

During question period on Tuesday, Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek urged Health Minister Eric Hoskins to step in and stop the closure of the Cardiac Fitness Institute.

“It serves roughly 1,600 people a year and only costs around $150,000 a year to run,” Yurek said.

Established in 1981, the CFI provides rehabilitation and fitness education for patients who suffer from serious heart problems.

READ MORE: LHSC to close Cardiac Fitness Institute

“You don’t need to look further than this institute for evidence as to how much damage this government has done to Ontario’s health-care system,” he said.

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Last month, the London Health Science Centre (LHSC) cited the reason for the closure as “the funding environment has become increasingly challenging.”

The health minister ultimately defended the decision by LHSC brass.

“We need to allow our health-care workers to make the best decisions based on evidence and quality of care,” said Hoskins.

“In fact, all those patients who are currently enrolled in the London area will continue to receive treatment of post-cardiac care after March 18.”

Yurek says chronic underfunding by the Liberals has caused many programs throughout the health-care system to become defunct.

“Backed by scientific evidence, the preventative care provided by the CFI is shown to reduce the number of re-admittance due to heart problems, as well as saving the health-care [system] millions of dollars,” he said.

“These services are available in Windsor, Toronto, and Ottawa, but no longer in London after March.”

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