The future of St. Paul’s Hospital is an election issue again with the NDP accusing a Liberal candidate of suggesting the downtown hospital should be turned into an urgent-care facility.

Laura McDiarmid is alleged to have made the comments during a recent media interview.

NDP MLA Spencer Herbert said turning St. Paul’s into an urgent-care facility would bring about a 50 per cent downgrade in services, likely to result in the closure of the emergency room, staff layoffs and a reduction in hours.

“For three elections now the Liberals continue to refuse to tell the community what they are going to do about St. Paul’s,” Herbert said. “Now the local Liberal candidate has suggested urgent care, which means getting rid of a full-service hospital.”

Health Minister George Abbott said the allegations made by Herbert are untrue, and added that other options being looked at by the Liberal government for St. Paul’s include redevelopment.