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Come to the health care table: Fran Renoy

A Round Table meeting on rural health will take place at the community centre in Picton on Tues. Feb. 15 from 1-3:30 PM. This meeting is being held by the Ministry of Health committee on Rural and Northern Healthcare. Twelve rural locations have been chosen from approximately Jan. 30 to Feb. 15.

My understanding is that the meetings that have been held so far are heavily moderated with group tables of 8 to 10. Each table is given an issue to discuss. It is not mandatory to register but if you wish to do so you may call 1-800-503-8654.

If you do attend, it is very important that you have your key points ready and be insistent that you wish to speak.
The MOH released their report on rural healthcare very recently. As far back as the summer of 2009, the Ontario Healthcare Coalition had asked the McGuinty government to travel across rural Ont. to hold consultations with community members. Since the MOH did not schedule consultations at that time the Ont. Healthcare Coalition decided to form their own panel. The OHC by the way is not a government agency. Their mandate is to protect and improve our healthcare system.

In Feb 2010 the Coalition formed a group of seven non partisan panellists who represented three political parties and lived in various geographical areas across Ont. They consisted of physicians, nurses, lawyers and a MPP all with extensive experience in healthcare. South Marysburg councillor Barbara Proctor and NDP healthcare critic France Gelinas were part of this panel. In Feb. and Mar. 2010 the panel travelled to rural and northern communities across Ont. to listen to the concerns of community members. While in Picton the panel applauded the speakers for showing so much passion for their local rural hospital and healthcare in Prince Edward County. A total of 1150 community members attended the meetings submitting a total of 487 oral and/or written submissions.

This report “Toward Access and Equality” can be viewed on the OHC website at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca (see Hospitals). When you read the report I think you will find that many rural communities share the same desire that we do and that is to save the remaining services at our hospitals as close to home as possible.
With respect to the LHIN the same message was conveyed to the panel by all rural communities. Community members felt that the LHINS were an extra bureaucracy and a political buffer for the government. The feeling was that they were not respected, unaccountable, unelected and unresponsive. There was very little public consultation with staff and municipal leaders. Regretfully I will not be able to attend the meeting on Feb.15 but I strongly encourage all of you who care about healthcare in PR ED COUNTY to attend. I suspect that with a provincial election less than eight months away, the McGuinty government will be listening very carefully to rural and northern Ontario (1.9 million constituents) and what we are saying about our healthcare or lack of it.
To quote the Honourable Allan Rock, former Minister of Health for Canada who in 1999 said ‘We can never accept the notion of limited access to healthcare for the one third of Canadians who live in rural and remote Canada”.
Fran Renoy, Picton

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Hope everyone who is concerned about PECMH will be there. That should be all of us.

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