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MOH shocking, but not surprising: Fran Renoy letter

Feb. 26, 2011
“I’m shocked!” These were the first words in a letter that Picton resident Robert Williams had written to the local papers on Feb. 24. Mr Williams was commenting on the fact that after the opening comments, all the local press were asked to leave the heavily moderated Round Table discussions on rural health. I think that he will be even more shocked when he goes on line and reads the article, “Public discussion tackles rural health care issues” posted Feb. 15 in the Haliburton Echo. This article refers to the rural health Round Table meeting held by the Ministry of Health in Haliburton on Feb. 8. The article states “While local media were initially asked to leave following the opening remarks after much discussion and debate with Johnson and Sandals (the two Liberal MPPs facilitating the meeting for the Ministry of Health) it was agreed that reporters could stay under the condition personal health stories were not reported on”.

I think that if I was a local reporter that was asked to leave the Picton meeting I would contact the Haliburton Echo reporter Angelica Blengil to ask what persuasive powers she and her fellow reporters used to be allowed to remain in the room. Oh, did I mention that facilitator Liberal MPP Rick Johnson represents Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock riding. There is a vast difference between the meetings in Haliburton and Picton. Because the media were allowed to report the concerns of the 40 people present at the Haliburton meeting every stakeholder in the Haliburton riding was privy to their concerns. In contrast only the 50 residents who attended the Round Table discussions in Picton will know what concerns were expressed concerning Rural Health.

In his letter Robert Williams states that the MOH in their ad said in bold print “Join the conversation”. They just forgot to invite the press to the party.
Perhaps it is time for Liberal MPP Leona Dombrosky to hold a Town Hall meeting for her taxpaying constituents on the status of healthcare in Prince Edward County. Anytime between now and Oct. 6 would be fine. Don’t forget to invite the press!
Quite simply the Ministry of Health is wrong in allowing the press to remain at the meeting in one riding and asking them to leave in another. But then this is a Ministry of Health that sent in a consultant/supervisor two years ago to disband the approximately 500 member Quinte Healthcare Corporation Corporate membership. Interestingly enough 70% of those Corporate members who had purchased a membership were from Prince Edward County. This is also a Ministry of Health that will probably allow QHC Belleville to take eight or less beds from PECMH knowing full well that Prince Edward County has a huge transportation problem.

In one of his recent letters to the local papers WW2 veteran and County resident Ralph Margetson stated “I’m ashamed that we seem to be ready to give up on our hospital”. Ralph is 93 years old so he knows only too well the trials and tribulations that PECMH has endured over the last 90 years to remain a ‘shelter’ for the infirm and dying in our community. Ralph, you are my HERO. My only hope is that the residents and municipal leaders of Prince Edward County don’t disappoint you.
Fran Renoy, Picton.

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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