All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

Hospital bears disproportionate cuts – again

The Times is to be commended for its thorough and excellent coverage of Quinte Health Care balancing its budget by slashing  $7 million.

In the article titled “More cuts to Picton Hospital” (April 2) Rick Conroy explains that in the 15 years QHC has struggled to balance its budget the hospitals in Picton and Trenton have borne a disproportionate share of the cuts to service and capacity.

He goes on to interview Dr. Elizabeth Christie, head of the Prince Edward Family Health Team,  who describes QHC’s choice to cut three more beds (20 per cent of the remaining beds) as “profoundly disappointing”. What she found even more perplexing was the fact that our local  hospital is the number one community hospital inpatient ward in all of Ontario and also has the cheapest beds in the entire QHC corporation.

The residents of Prince Edward County are very fortunate to have Dr. Christie speaking on their  behalf.  She was born and raised in the County and understands how important PECMH is to the stakeholders.

If the operating rooms are moved to Belleville in the future, PECMH will be left with 12 beds (10 in the summer), an emergency department and a radiology department.  In  his address  to the QHC Board at their March meeting, Board chair Steve Blakely stated that other hospitals are “salivating”  at QHC’s success at improving patient care with fewer resources. I  was present at that meeting and had great difficulty hearing Mr. Blakely speak those words, knowing the numerous service cuts that have taken place at PECMH over the last 15 years.

QHC board and senior administration have done what they have been asked to do by the Ministry of Health and the SELHIN. The ironic part is that one day all of those responsible for “gutting ” PECMH will be gone and The County will be left with a summer hospital.

But we are told not to despair. There are plans to build a brand new replacement hospital on the horizon. We are told that we must move forward. An announcement should be made shortly. However keep in mind that QHC CEO Mary Clare Egbert has made it very clear from day one that it will be 10-15 years before a shovel is in the ground.

Let us hope that the next time QHC needs to balance its budget they don’t come knocking at the door of the” Jewel in the Crown” , Prince Edward Count Memorial Hospital. We are very quickly running out of services to give them.

Fran Renoy

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Wolf Braun says:

    Well said Garth. Although I think you’re giving the PR person too much credit. 🙂

    Health care and small Ontario rural hospitals is a political issue. There are dozens of rural hospitals in Ontario that are worth saving. However….

    Prince Edward County missed it’s opportunity by not developing a plan that directly goes after the political powers to maintain not only our hospital but many others.

    Oh sure, buses traveled to Queen’s Park, but the will was not strong enough to work on a plan to save out hospital and others. With a possible spring election just around the corner this would have been an opportunity to demand the return of our hospital. Instead, we played politics amongst ourselves.

  2. Marnie says:

    This is a diversion tactic to draw our attention away from what has been done to our existing hospital. What need do we have for a new one? It will be no better than the old – a first-aid station with only a few services. When our older doctors retire it is almost a given that no young physicians will come here. Our new hospital already exists and its name is Belleville General.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    Garth well said. The hospital is in a crisis mode right now and talking about something that MIGHT happen in a decade is a useless approach.
    The whole approach of QHC is something that has destroyed PECMH

  4. Garth Manning says:

    Returning to Fran’s article (which was about our Hospital, not road disrepair),the shoe has now dropped and a glitzy announcement is to be made by QHC and its “partners” at the Town Hall at 10.00am on May 2nd. Look for lots of first rate PR (for which QHC employs a full time and excellent practitioner), and the distant possibility that something just may happen a generation from now if a web of bureaucratic red tape has first been unscrambled. The “something” will likely be presented attractively but the likelihood of it ever happening will be underplayed.

  5. IM Messenger says:

    Asking: “what are you prepared to do”

    requires an internal analysis of personal values, personal truth, integrity and personal lofty aspirations.

    Therefore, the question requires no public acclamation to answer; but an answer that remains personal and independent according to where passion arises for the overall good. One that realizes the larger collective’s power to make change, harmless of self and the community. Know what is the right thing. And then say it, do it, be it.

  6. Mark says:

    Continue to bring our concerns forward to our representatives in person as I have been for quite sometime. And yourself? What are you doing?

  7. IM Messenger says:

    What are you prepared to do about it?

  8. Mark says:

    They say “A new broom sweeps clean” but Council even if renewed doesn’t carry the broom. Amalgamations are a birth explosion for big salaries, more consultants and fewer services. We have the highest bag tag fees in the region, no yard waste pickup like neighboring municipalities and a Town that is not growing forcing water users to put a basic need like water ahead of food. It’s become laughable.

  9. Marnie says:

    I think people have given up on raising hell. Nobody listens. A bit like fiddling while Rome burns.

  10. Mark says:

    Yes, actually surprises me why so many come here as the beauty is far from what it once was. We always had roads that were the envy of many municipalities. I drove Barker St. from Downes to Johnson today. Go try it. It is a disaster. I am surprised the home owners are not raising hell!

  11. Marnie says:

    Picton needs to pull up its socks and spruce up. We have traffic jams and a lot of stores selling expensive giftware and luxury items but far too few places where everyday items can be readily purchased. There is always a shortage of parking and lack of an overall plan to beautify Main Street. Napanee is sounding better and better.

  12. Doris Lane says:

    Like KJB I do not understand the need for a 3 bed hospice in a separate building. I have no desire to be put in there.
    I think it might be a good idea if we all moved to napanee they have a great hospital
    I know if I was younger I would sell out here and go and live in Napanee
    They even have a lot of good fast food outlets and a better looking Main Street than we have

  13. KJB says:

    I cannot imagine why Hospice is not using the hospital..I have asked many in the know and was told it has to do with funding from the government…It just seems a shame to have that large building with half of it not being used…I have visited Hospices that are housed in the local hospital but totally separate from the patients that having surgery, heart conditions, etc…..These hospitals had their own entrance for the Hospices and the atmosphere was just the same as our local Hospice, (peaceful) with many volunteers their to help the nurses and doctors….One Hospice I visited the Doctors from the area took their turn heading up the health team working in the Hospice…It was amazing and those needing the assistance (patients and family) Hospice provides were welcomed with opening arms. Why do we need another level to the Health Care System….Lets talk to our members of government and try to get proper (and I think less expensive)care for all

  14. sanmc says:

    I agree! Napanee yeesss, it’s worth the drive to support this kind of hospital.

    Successful, simple, alternative medicine promoted by doctors results in loss of their license. They must prescribe drugs, mammograms and biopsies, plus use Belleville hospital’s complete services first before others.

    Make money — support their existence. This is blatantly real across the board from my own experience by asking for an breast ultrasound rather than a mammogram 3yrs ago. Ultrasound having no radiation exposure.

    The radiologist at Belleville hospital tried to make me have both regardless of the Drs. requisition saying otherwise. This requisition meant signing over authority to the radiologist. I was ready to walk out. I only got the ultrasound, and a copy of my results from my Dr. that said I refused the mammogram, of which was never ordered by the doctor in the first place. I should have walked out!!! than to have this kind of remark scratched into my health records.

    This would not have happened in Picton. One more reason to continue and not stop the fight . . .

    MY lesson learned here was to participate in the system as little as possible. To educate myself in everything about preventing disease through eating healthy (greens); how to help the body recover; how to get off meds using nutrients found in food; how not to need meds by using herbs, vit. minerals, chemical free food, etc.; alternative methods instead of harmful drugs with side effects; how some foods cause disease and make the body acidic that allows disease to begin (meat, dairy). How GMO wheat damages the intestinal wall (leaky bowel syndrome, arthritic pains, stomach heartburn upset, etc.)

    It works, it is my way:

  15. Ric Jones says:

    First I would like to thank Fran Renoy .
    I think we ALL need to think about what we want for our future and look inside our self to find that inner strength before it is gone ( or taken from us ) .
    Understanding the driving force on the government side will not make you feel a lot better but may help motivate you to stand with people like Fran , Earl , Leroy ,,, list goes on , all who served us well , STILL DO .
    We need to stand up a be proud as they have . Heath care salaries for VP’s , CEO’s , LIN’s ,,, an up the chain are based on the “budget” they manage and how well they implement the demands from above . Not much of a incentive to make thing more efficient .
    There needs to be a strong stead effort to create growing support for each other in this fight as there mandate as we have been told over and over from the top is to “manage based on complain”. This is difficult for most of us to understand , it easily creates frustration and even anger which drives us away , where’s us down , some of us quicker than other .

    That is my perspective from spending 5 years working at PECMH , helping build strength , working together with each other maintaining a happy , efficient environment .

    1 year of amalgamation with 100’s of hours of information sharing and meeting . With outside consultants , management firms , more consultants to give direction to the first consultant’s , goes on an on .

    Then 5 years of the most stress full day’s possibly imaginable , regular meetings , focus groups , more efforts where spent on debriefing than inelegant productive resolutions , little was expected in the way of actual productive work . There was learning that I had ** if you do nothing then you do nothing wrong .
    On closing , it would be a shame for us all to do NOTHING , not to commit a few more hours of our time to help those who put them self to the task every day for us all . THANK YOU again to the hundreds who have .

    Richard Jones

  16. Wolf Braun says:

    Where are the various groups, like P.O.O.C.H., who have been working to take back our hospital ??

  17. Jan says:

    Why are we not looking at Napanee Hospital more closely? If they can operate as a multi-service hospital and not be in the “red”–WHY can’t Prince Edward County take back their hospital and use Napanee as their role model? Just think–NO one pays to park at Napanee hospital. It’s not necessary–they know how to be financially sound. What’s wrong with the “County”? Why are we so afraid to tackle the Ministry of Health and QHC?
    There is an election just around the corner–we should be fighting this destruction of
    Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital–but no–there is hardly a whimper! It’s much easier to say–“it’s a done deal–too late to turn things around”! Well enjoy driving to Belleville for all your hospital needs in the near future–I just hope you get there in time!

  18. IM Messenger says:

    I know ppl who lived in the north part of the county and for 15 yrs. their hospital has been and continues to be Picton. Belleville hospital is being forced into the picture for care, and it’s where nobody wants to go.

    Picton was once the very best hospital out of the four (Belleville, Trenton, Picton, Bancroft), for care, quality of doctors, service, bed side manner, safety, cleanliness, and all round concern for community health.

    The gov’t and corporations have control of our health and our money.

    QUOTED: “Mary Clare Egbert … it will be 10-15 years before a shovel is in the ground.”

    By then many seniors (baby boomers now 68-72+ yrs) will not need health services but need death services or already be dead. I dare say, this is more likely than not, the motivation for the projected savings shown by the demographics.

  19. Gary says:

    Pretty bad when you answer yourself but OHIP Is good in all of Ontario so why not take the drive to Napanee. As close as the big BGH, lower wait times and no traffic issues. So if you require immediate non emergency attention and Picton (while it is still open) is plugged head east. And if your condition is worse they will transfer you to Kingston which is another plus. Picton used to have a great relationship with KGH and they held clinics here. Another big loss.

  20. Gary says:

    Napanee is fortunate. They have a strong stand alone that is vibrant and growing. They were not swallowed up whole like Picton even though they are as close to Belleville and Trenton as we are. They are even closer to our Bancroft hospital. Good for them as envious as it is. Perhaps the drive to Napanee services is more favorable than the 6-8 hour wait in Belleville. Is that allowed?

  21. Doris Lane says:

    I still do not understand why PECMH was hit so badly with the slashes and Napanee which is close to both Belleville and Kingston has been allowed to expand.
    Iwent to visit a friend in the hospital the other day and I was shocked at what I saw–the remains of a once vibrant hospital.
    I understand that if there is a patient in a bed who should stay for another day but is sent home as there are 2 patients in the ER who need a bed.
    No matter what QHC says none of us want to go to Belleville Hospital.I spent a half hour in Picton the other day having a chest x ray and an ultra sound. I heard of a lady who spent 7 hours in Belleville hospital having a chest X ray and seeing a doctor. A lot of people come to Picton Emerg because they don’t want to wait all day in Belleville.
    We need PECMH –lets hope they keep the OR open .

  22. Gary says:

    It’s been gutted so bad that now it is difficult to justify keeping a building that size operational. Perhaps that was the plan.

  23. Vic Alyea says:

    Thanks Fran! Well said and true!

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