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Get rid of LHIN, put money back into hospitals: MPP

Todd Smith

In light of another round of service reduction proposals, Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith questions the need for the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and says government should put its money into the hospitals instead.

“The Southeast LHIN is forcing the team at QHC to make some very difficult decisions and I know Quinte Healthcare is trying to make the best decisions based on the evidence,” Smith said. “The question we should really be asking is why does the LHIN exist at all? Getting rid of that layer of bureaucracy would put a lot of money back into the coffers at Quinte Healthcare.”

Smith pointed out that the LHIN system costs the province hundreds of millions of dollars every year to pay for bureaucrats who never see a single patient. In addition, Smith pointed out that not a single LHIN in Ontario has met the majority of goals that were laid out for them by the Ministry of Health when the system was put into place.

“If we put money into frontline services, into nurses and doctors and beds instead of bureaucrats or LHIN offices, we’d have the money to maintain outpatient physiotherapy or obstetrics in Picton.” Smith said. “Unfortunately, we have a government in this province with the wrong priorities. The money should be going to patients, not pencil pushers. The LHIN has outlived whatever usefulness it might have had. It’s time we got rid of it.”

Smith is also urging a caution as QHC measures public response to the list of service changes, most notably at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, due funding formula changes. He expressed concerns about assumptions that the services already exist in the community to handle the closure of inpatient beds at the QHC hospitals in Picton, Trenton and Belleville.

“While I agree that we need to get patients who shouldn’t be in the hospital back home or in an alternate level of care facility, I believe that because of the waste, scandal and overspending that has occurred within the Ministry of Health, the services don’t exist yet or aren’t funded properly to provide the care in the community.”


South East LHIN
71 Adam Street
Belleville, Ontario
Canada K8N 5K3
(613) 967-0196
Toll-free – 1-866-831-5446
Fax (613) 967-1341
email .

Quinte Health Care
Corporate Headquarters
265 Dundas Street E,
Belleville, K8N 5A9
969-7400 ext 2027
Fax: (613) 968-8234
website feedback:

Contact information for Todd Smith, MPP

Belleville Office
81 Millennium Parkway, Unit 3
Belleville, ON
Tel: 613-962-1144
Fax: 613-969-6381
Toll Free: 1-877-536-6248
Mailing Address:
PO Box 575
Belleville, Ontario
K8N 5B2

Picton Office
Unit C
The Armory 206 Main Street
Picton , Ontario K0K 2T0
Tel: 613-476-9616

Queen’s Park Address
Room 357, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8
Tel : 416-325-2702
Fax: 416-325-2675

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. m york says:

    We CAN still save this town if we all stand as one and demand change for the better. Is it even a possibility that our hospital can run independant from LHIN ?

  2. Marnie says:

    Hindsight is 20/20. What happened with our hospital was predictable. It was a bit like the old joke about how do you tell when a lawyer is lyuing (his lips are moving). No matter what line they handed us it was pretty clear from the outset that they planned to make our hospital a glorified first-aid station. The same scenario is playing out with Picton and Wellington these days with local government slowly but surely syphoning services away from Picton and relocating them in the future hub of the county. Wellington got a fantastic new arena and also picked up the archives. If a new county building ever is constructed probably Wellington will be the chosen site. Wellington is developing all the time and Picton is stagnating. The loss of our hospital will be just one more nail in its coffin. It may be too late to save the hospital but maybe we can still fight for our town.

  3. Paul says:

    Lets keep in mind we were forced into amalgamation by the Harris/Eves Conservative Government with cost cutting measures implemented during the 90s.Since the Liberals have been in power spending on health care has increased dramatically.PEC hasn t seen those increases because QHC (BGH) now controls the purse string thanks to the Conservatives. Belleville hospital grows by leaps and bounds the NEW Sills wing comes to mind while QHC Prince Edward (Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital)shrinks.And it will eventually be a first aid station put the Cons back in power see how much quicker it happens.Its only a matter of time.

  4. Mary e Grimmon says:

    I totally agree get rid of lin and have them reurn the money we ere in the black before we went in the qhc. what is the sense of us raising money to buy equipment only to have them discontinue the services. Mary grimmon

  5. Barbara says:

    Great articles by everyone. Todd is the best thing that ever happened to us.

    GET RID OF THE LHIN!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Pamela Stagg says:

    I fail to understand what benefit LHINs provide. I’m not aware that any costs were cut at the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care when LHINs were created — it was just another layer of costs. The money LHINs cost could be diverted into care. I am also very cynical about this new hospital we’re promised. Is that just a sop to keep us quiet while PECMH is hacked to death?

    When I go up to the Yukon/BC border, the local town has a Red Cross Outpost Nursing Station, staffed by outpost nurses and no doctors, to look after local emergencies and care for patients until they can be transported to Whitehorse. Sounds like we’re headed in that direction.

  7. Paul says:

    I’m sure Mr Smith has PEC best interests at heart however he will be whipped according to party policy and thats the scary part…

  8. Doris Lane says:

    Fran you have done so much for the hospital in so many ways.
    I am glad that Todd responded to you so quickly. He is certainly an asset to the County. Someone commented he should replace Hudak. As a life long Liberal, I have opted out of the Provincial Liberals and will be voting for Todd in the next election and would vote for him as leader also

  9. Fran Renoy says:

    Last week I sent a copy of my letter concerning the proposed service cuts at PECMH to Todd. Within 30 minutes I received a call from him. He was on his way to a meetng with Marie Clare Egberts but took the time to ask me what my major concerns were. In 8 years of sending letters to Leona I never received one call. I certainly know who I will be voting for next election.

  10. Doris Lane says:

    You are correct about home care. I have no direct contact with it but a truly lovely lady I know told her family that they got on her nerves.
    We need our hospital.. We have a group of great doctors, they need a place to work. Doctors will not contine to come here is we lose all our beds.
    Who wants to go to Belleville Hospital. what if you live at Point Petre and go into labour, you might not make it to belleville. So it goes on and on.

  11. Marnie says:

    Why all the talk about a brand new hospital down the road? If we are going to be left with just 12 beds why on earth would we need it? Is this the government’s idea of a joke?

    The proposal for home care instead of hospital care is ludicrous. Are doctors going to start making house calls again? A few years ago a close relative of mine had home care services for about a year. In some ways it was a disaster. One “caregiver” skittered off 15 minutes early every time and another one ate all of my husband’s cookies each time she made tea. A third caregiver arrived one day with a nasty cold which she promptly shared with her patient, an elderly person already fighting a lot of health issues.

    We need our hospital and home care is not going to cut it, forget the current hard sell. Will someone have to die before it becomes clear that we need proper hospital care available in our county?

  12. Paul says:

    Seems to me it was Ontario Consevative Government that forced PECMH into amalgamation with the QHC back in 1998.We may not be in these messes had that not happened.

  13. Jim & Marilyn Ives says:

    Right on Todd. LHIN’s are just another level of government that is wasteful and unneeded. In addition we want a divorce from QHC. We are more rural than Napanee and we operated our hospital efficiently in the past.
    Since Napanee was designated a rural hospital it has seen lots of expansion and maintained services.

  14. Doris Lane says:

    You are correct Todd is better than Hudak and the scrambled plan we have for PEC does not begin to replace our hospital.
    It has taken many years to build what we have . check the video on county live with all the pictures of donations made by organizations over the years–all the work
    at present we have the second time around shop and the canteen in the medical building where volunteers put in many hours to make money for OUR HOSPITAL

  15. County Steve says:

    I wish Todd would take Hudak’s place! The guy continues to amaze me!

    Totally agree on LHIN’s and, as Loretta pointed out, yet another example of ideas which work in Toronto, and cause horrible problems in Rural Ontario where everything is different.

    I don’t think I have time to write a column on this before the ‘deal is down’, but we saw the need for MORE hospital functions in the County years ago … when boomers like me were babies, and then, like now, city people were choosing to retire here in large numbers.

    Maybe we can get Todd in on the County Revolution … he belongs more with us than them.

    My example: Have a heart attack in Cressy, when you’re alone in the house. Call a cab or an ambulance and wait. Go to Picton … no one left to deal with you. Ambulance or even helicopter? Count yourself dead. And the ads say: Minutes count!

    The Ministry of Health is more concerned with balanced budgets than human lives.

    Further, I suspect the plan is to neuter PECMH to the point when it will be considered unnecessary. And, as Todd pointed out, the scrambled ‘replacement plan’ is not nearly ready to take the load.

  16. Doris Lane says:

    Todd you are totally right–I remember when Linns came in and it is a total waste of money
    It is better to cut the high paying jobs and keep
    beds in the hospital. There are occasions when people need to be in a hospital setting not one of the other alternatives
    ASk any real estate agent whether people ask about hospitals whe they consider buying in the county?

  17. Loretta Salet says:

    By “centralizing” more services at Belleville rather than leaving then to Picton or Trenton, they are forcing people to spend more on transportation and producing more carbon and polluting gases. Not Green! Plus, we in PEC have a greater percentage of seniors who live on fixed incomes and cannot afford to pay for addtional distance transportation and out patient services at privated clinics i.e. physiotherapy, LIHNs might have made sense in urban areas like Toronto where you had 3 hospitals sitting on corners of the same intersection, they never made any sense for the rural communities. Dalton’s legacy of the GEA and LIHNs is directly contributing to the burgeoning debt in Ontario.

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