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Help our hospitals in the fight of their lives

Both Prince Edward County Memorial and Trenton Memorial hospitals are  in the fight of their lives to save their few remaining services.

Last week the Trentonian reported that 11 doctors, including several emergency room physicians fom Belleville General met with officials of the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation at the hospital. QHC administration was not invited. Also present was Quinte West Mayor John Williams and MPP Rob Milligan. “The goal” said Foundation chairman John Smylie, “was to get QHC to reverse the plan”. Doctors blame QHC administrators for making  top down decisions without looking at the clinical implications first.

This statement also applies to PECMH. Dr. Amber Hayward Stewart  has said that point of care testing is not fool-proof and there have been problems in the system in Picton. QHC is aware of these problems she added. Point of care machines are smaller machines used to analyze blood and have been used at PECMH for about three years when QHC all but closed the Lab . There is a technician that takes blood at PECMH Mon to Fri from 7-3. This service is only for QHC patients that are having surgery or are part of a QHC clinic.  Once the phlebotomist is terminated, any patients with QHC lab requisitions will now have to travel to Belleville General Hospital Lab for blood work.

All other patients must go to Life Labs. QHC has decided in their wisdom to no longer have a phlebotomist/technician at PECMH. The nurses will be responsible for taking all of the blood at Picton hospital. The night nurse who acts as a float between emergency  and the floor will soon be responsible for collecting the blood from patients. Dr.Hayward Stewart states, “We’re already short on the night shift in Picton. If we have a code it is not safe.”  Trenton is also facing bed cuts and the staff that go with them, a decrease in emergency room nursing hours  and the closure of an operating room.

Trenton and PECM Hospitals are sisters in their struggle to save their services. Both have very proud  and long histories but now are fighting the mighty QHC giant’ headquartered in Belleville.  Both hospitals are no longer part of QHC, “we are lunch”. Picton is also facing many cuts. We will eventually lose nine beds and be reduced to12 and the staff that go with them. Dr. Elizabeth Christie, head of the Pr. Ed. Family Health Team  told me that recently there were 23 in patients on one weekend. Keep in mind QHC CEO has stated that PECMH needs only 12 beds.

A physiotherapist will now come to PECMH  only one or two days a week. The lab will be closed completely to the stakeholders once QHC eliminates the phlebotomist. It is my understanding that that an extra Lab Technologist has been hired to work at Belleville General. In fact if this is true, it is one more insult for the smaller hospitals. Make no mistake, once the Operating rooms in Belleville are completed next year the scopes will move there and no longer be done at PECMH. Added to this Maternity will probably close. Eventually PECMH will be like Bancroft with a few beds, an Emergency Dept. and a Radiology Dept.

John Symlie, head of the Trenton Hospital Foundation has stated publicly that the Foundation is prepared to back the doctors and community, even it means upsetting QHC brass. Is it not time that the PECMH Foundation and Mayor take the lead from Trenton and meet with some of the doctors and MPP Todd Smith? Most importantly they should have the media present so that the residents /stakeholders are aware of the steps that are being taken to save our services and the top down decisions that QHC are making without  proper consultation.

Pr. Ed. County will suffer economically if we do not retain more services. My observation is that the Pr. Ed. County physicians are working diligently to save our services but it is an uphill battle dealing with QHC senior administration and board.

Consider travelling to Queen’s Park on April 17 on the POOCH buses to rally against the service cuts at our hospital. Tickets are available at local real estate offices. If you feel that you cannot afford the price of the ticket ($25) you may call Norma at 476-3166 for help in subsidizing the price of the ticket.  It is critical that you stand up for your hospital.

-Fran Renoy

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

About the Author: Fran Renoy has lived in the County for forty years so considers herself almost a native. Both she and her husband Bill consider themselves very fortunate to live in beautiful Prince Edward County. She worked at PECM hospital for thirty years as a x-ray technologist,retiring in 1998.She has a very strong passion for her local hospital and encourages others to speak up and not be afraid to do so if they feel that services are being eroded.

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Fran is right on with everything she says. She worked there in the good old days when we had 95 beds. a lab, a kitchen, a laundry, a large physio room etc.
    We worked hard to build a new wing and now that we are senior citizens we will not have a hospital to go to.

  2. Elly Sedore says:

    we cannot afford to lose our hospital….we have people here who will move and leave if there is no hospital…people will not want to come to our tourist town if there is no where to be treated….this is my hospital and I WANT it to stay….greedy Belleville idiots

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