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Campaign to ‘get our hospital back’ will continue

POOCH-July-10About 100 people sat patiently in a humid Picton United Church Wednesday evening to hear reports from Patrons of Our County Hospital (POOCH) efforts to “get our hospital back”.

Three options were presented: continue to pursue de-amalgamation; work with and under the Quinte Healthcare Corporation or give up.

“We have an agreement on direction – to keep going,” said Wolf Braun, POOCH representative. “We had agreement on making POOCH a much larger movement, and to include all Ontario rural hospitals. We had people step forward to help with our fight.”

The newly expanded group will reach out to rural municipalities across the province who are experiencing hospital cuts. The plan is to create a united front to get Premier Kathleen Wynne’s attention.

“There is no way we are going to quit. We have to test the premier’s commitment to rural Ontario,” said Braun.

A few citizens spoke passionately about Picton hospital and about how a concerned community can rally to get what it needs – as it has done in the past.

Audience applause thanked the five-member POOCH committee for its work over the past six months that began with the bus trip to Queen’s Park for a demonstration and meeting with the health minister.

“So many people in our County are vulnerable because of what has been taken away from us,” said Betsy Sinclair, of POOCH. “The goal is out there.”

The meeting ended with POOCH requesting the audience read aloud:
“We have a message for Queen’s Park. We are angry. Do you hear us Queen’s Park? We are angry at what you have done to our hospital. This hospital was built by the people of the County to serve our needs and we will not sit back and see it destroyed. Helping one another is the County way.”

Click here to “like” and keep up-to-date on the POOCH Facebook site and to volunteer.

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  1. Wolf Braun says:

    The folks who have been involved with P.O.O.C.H. from the beginning are fairly optimistic about the future for getting our hospital back.

    We all need to pursue Premier Wynne’s commitment that she has made to rural Ontario. If she’s serious about having a process for engaging the community in decisions that are important to us, then we need to test this.

    P.O.O.C.H. has decided to move from an ad hoc group to the next level.

    Such a move requires people with skills in planning, strategy, finance, fund raising, media, social media, technology to name just a few. On Wednesday evening we received 14 plus offers from County residents to help. That’s amazing! Thank you.

    We see P.O.O.C.H. becoming a centralized group that becomes the “hub” for other rural Ontario hospitals who want more control of their local hospital. In other words, P.O.O.C.H. is the centralized hub for other de-centralized rural hospitals. We see P.O.O.C.H. moving away from its current name and acronymn “SAVE OR RURAL HOSPITALS” – SORH. Which then has de-centralzied hubs known as PictonSORH, TrentonSORH, PerthSORH and son on.

    By making this transition it gives the “Save Our Rural Hospitals” organization greater leverage plus importantly greater provincial exposure as a grass-roots, people driven organization that can DEMAND better than just adequate rural health care in not just PEC but all of Ontario… and possibly other provinces…. one step at a time.

    We see SORH as being Party-less; Leader-less; By the people of rural Ontario; not a business, not a political party; not an advertising campaign, not a brand and importantly we are not for sale. The people now with P.O.O.C.H. see our only affiliation as being with the people of rural Ontario communities. That’s how we see the future. Hope this makes sense for everyone. Please let us know if it doesn’t.

    We leave you with this final thought….

    … In a democracy we (the people) give our permission to be governed. It is clear that there is no public permission to destroy our local hospital! It is time for the Premir to listen to rural Ontario.

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