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Lack of beds and services affects entire community

This is the letter I sent to the list of contacts posted by the office of the mayor:

I am aware that you may be receiving a large volume of correspondence in regards to the proposed cuts by Quinte Health Care (QHC) to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH) so I will attempt to express my worries as concisely as possible. My concerns are mainly the impacts of the proposed cuts on my community and loved ones. Additionally, I am concerned about the lack of transparency with which this matter has been handled.

I am a resident of Prince Edward County who returned after completing my degree in Ottawa. I had found employment within the Correctional Service of Canada and later the Parole Board of Canada located in Bath and Kingston respectively. My partner and I chose to settle on Lake on the Mountain instead of living in Kingston, believing that the advantages to living in the County outweighed the advantages of the urban lifestyle we were accustomed too. As young skilled individuals (I in the Federal Public Service,  and my partner, a former soldier and fire fighter) we believed that being close to my family and in an area with a growing foods and arts community would be an ideal location for us to live, work, and participate in our shared hobbies and interests.

The lack of beds and services at PECMH affects the entire community. The number of front line staff and beds directly affect every resident of Prince Edward County- not just those looking to retire or start families. It is also puzzling that the elements of health care that impact patients the most are being cut while administration is not. It is my understanding that front line workers are already overwhelmed, yet this is the first area to be downsized. Equally concerning is the lack of information or transparency involved with this decision making process. Why haven’t the local family health team, medical community, or residents of the community been allowed to participate in a process that has such a significant impact?

As employment opportunities and other advantages have recently begun to tug us back toward city living, the proposed cuts to PECMH are not only impacting our future family health, the health of our middle-aged and senior family, but also negatively impacting the possibility that other young professionals-specifically health care personnel- will choose Prince Edward County for themselves. If it is no longer convenient to raise a family here or retire here due to limited health options, what kind of community will remain in twenty years? What opportunities will be available here?

I am sure that we aren’t the only young couple or family to be facing these kinds of decisions and if you don’t encourage people in our life stage to choose living and remaining in Prince Edward County, the outcome for this beautiful community will remain uncertain.

Amanda Jean Stanley

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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