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Friends host final health services meeting

Ross Sutherland

The Friends of Prince Edward Health Services held its final annual general meeting Thursday, April 21.
Chair Barbara Proctor commented that the ‘Friends’ were fortunate to have very dedicated board members over the past 10 years; however, it was becoming more difficult to recruit new members. She gave special mention to the late Mary Lou Norton who served on the board for many years and was a strong supporter of our local hospital, PECMH. She said council will continue with the Prince Edward County Healthcare Advisory Committee (a committee of council). This will be the voice of the community at the municipal level. Ms Proctor also said it is important that residents continue to be interested in their local healthcare and not be afraid to ask questions.

The first speaker of the evening was Ross Sutherland RN. In his book False Positive – Private Profit in Canada’s Medical Laboratories, Mr. Sutherland details a daring expose of the laboratory system in Canada and how this system has been influenced by the private, for profit labs.
He goes on to say that because private labs centralize in cities to lower their overhead costs, services in the rural areas are compromised.
A glaring example would be Prince Edward County where Life Labs operates four hours a day in the Picton Clinic. Even though private labs receive public funds they are not required to submit to the same public scrutiny as hospital labs.
False Positive is a great read where you will learn that even though government policies, with the support of the organized medical profession, have created a market for the private labs while sometimes delivering inferior service at a greater cost to public healthcare.

Up next I will report on the other two speakers at the “Friends” meeting – Katherine Stansfield, QHC and Nancy Parks, Hospice Prince Edward.


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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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