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PEC and Trenton hospital supporters seek more control

Moving forward after a “no de-amalgamation” decision last week from health minister Deb Matthews, supporters of Picton and Trenton hospitals met Wednesday to discuss common issues. They want more say, and more control of their hospitals.

Picton and Trenton mayors Peter Mertens and John Williams met with former Liberal MPP Lou Rinaldi, who is volunteering his time to the Liberal Party of Ontario, and POOCH (Patrons of Our County Hospital) members Dave Gray, Betsy Sinclair, Al Reimers, Leo Finnegan and Wolf Braun.

“We discussed developing a plan that would look at how both communities would achieve a greater measure of control over their hospitals. While the minister’s letter said that de-amalgamation was ‘not being considered at this time’,  it is still an option.

“It was a productive meeting,” Braun said. “We discussed common issues to both the County and Quinte West, for just over an hour.”

POOCH will go back to its 5,600 “patrons” who signed the petition delivered in April.

“We will bring them up-to-date as well as share some options to ensure the health and well-being of the residents of the County. We hope to have those options ready in the coming weeks.

At last week’s meeting of the healthcare advisory committee at Shire Hall, Braun, on behalf of POOCH, said the group is asking council for more visibility at the council table and in the media. POOCH is also continuing to ask the Quinte Healthcare Corporation to see the financials broken out for Picton hospital alone.

“We need to elevate our activities,” Braun said. POOCH will have a float in Wellington’s Canada Day parade.

On Tuesday evening at the Quinte Healthcare Corporation annual general meeting, Rev. Al Reimers, a member of Patrons of our County Hospital (POOCH) asked the board to consider the establishment of a citizen-led committee elected by county residents to manage daily operations of the hospital.

“That action would go far toward allaying the feelings of animosity that have fermented during the winter of our discontent. You could go further and experiment: give that committee a four- or five-year mandate, and responsibility for a proportionate share of the budget, with the understanding that failure would result in return to your direct supervision but success could lead on to de-amalgamation.

He also suggested transforming some space created by cuts into long-term care beds to help address a limited supply of long-term care spaces in the county, made worse most recently, with the closure of Picton Manor. Full story:

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  1. Wolf Braun says:

    Thanks Lou. P.O.O.C.H. has always been about, and for, the people of Prince Edward County. Thx for LIKING us on

    I can now confirm that we are going to hold a meeting of all Patrons of our County Hospital – P.O.O.C.H. on July 10th at 7pm in the Picton United Church. The purpose of this meeting…. to discuss how we can convince the PREMIER to give us back our hospital… and how to make that happen.

    Please spread the word Lou and others. See you on the 10th.


  2. lou says:

    Wolf…..I just saw your reply..and I joined/liked the POOH facebook page……….I am also spreading the word and letting others know of the page..:-)………and Yes , ya got my vote..:-0

  3. Marnie says:

    In my case I went directly to the hospital because I realized I would be sent there for an X-ray anyhow. You make an interesting point, Fed Up. On a subsequent occasion when I suddenly experienced a symptom of some concern I called my family doctor’s office. The receptionist said there were no appointments open and told me if I felt any worse I would have go to the ER. So much for following that route.

  4. fed up says:

    It is my understanding that if a medical situation is less than critical, and doctors’ normal offices are in effect, patients of any hospital have always been encouraged to go there first.
    Also, triage exists for assessment—leading to the setting of medical priorities.
    That being said, sometimes one doesn’t get noticed very quickly in ER, and that is a problem, delaying the assessment. I believe this is a result of short staffing. This is perhaps something that should be looked at.

  5. Marnie says:

    I agree Wolf that the staff at Picton Hospital are caring but on the day that I went to the ER I was not impressed with the treatment I received or more aptly put did not receive. As the primary caregiver for an elderly relative I have seen a lot of the Picton ER in recent years and in many instances have found the level of care satisfactory. This does not change the fact that on the day when I needed help I sat in a waiting room for over two hours and finally left in great pain in hopes of finding help at my family doctor’s office. While it may be tempting to point the finger at the Belleville ER and cite Bad Girl’s experience we cannot overlook the fact that we have a couple of skeletons in our own closet if we are to be objective.

  6. Wolf Braun says:

    Fortunately I’ve only had to use our hospital twice in the last 22 years. Both times the wait time was minimal. In fact, my last experience was with my now 12 yr old grandson who was stung by a wasp, reacting badly and coming close to going into shock. He was seen immediately.

    I also used BGH back in ’01 when I was doing a 10k run in Belleville and injured my interior cruciate ligament on my left knee. It was 3 hrs before they took an x-ray which showed it was not torn. The simply sent me home without bandaging the knee. I hobbled back to my car.

    I’ve visited friends in both hospitals and my observations are that staff in Picton are caring and compassionate.

  7. Marnie says:

    Jack,if I had been sitting there for over two hours nursing a bug on my knee instead of a broken bone in my ankle I might understand your comment. I was in the ER for over two hours and was told before I left that it could still be some time before I would be seen. How is it being overly critical to object to this sort of treatment? Your experience was more likely to have been the exception rather than the rule.

  8. Jack says:

    Marnie: I thing you are being overly critical of the Picton Emergency Deparment. I had just the opposite expirence last week, I had to have a wood tick removed from my upper thigh that I could not get out myself. I was treated very quickly and the staff was very courtesy,even though an ambulance arrived with a patient and a police escort as I was being taken to the examination room. I arrived @approx 10p.m. And was home again by 10:45p.m.

  9. Marnie says:

    I agree that this is a shocking story but something similar happened to me a couple of years ago at our own Picton hospital. I fell and hurt my ankle. The pain was intense and I thought it might be broken.My husband drove me to Picton hospital where I reported to the triage nurse and waited and waited and waited. The pain was becoming unbearable and I thought I was going to faint. My husband spoke to the triage nurse and was told that it could be some time yet. A man injured in a construction accident was being treated in the ER. I was in such pain that I could wait no longer. My husband helped me walk to my doctor’s office which was nearby. His nurse immediately elevated my leg which helped a little with the pain. It later turned out that I had broken a bone in my ankle. This happened at our own Picton hospital and I am sure it is not the kind of story that anyone wants to hear. However I have to wonder why they were so short staffed that I could not have been sent to X-ray or given an ice pack for my ankle while I waited. Our health care system has been in trouble for a long time. Picton could not have coped with two or three emergencies at the same time that day.

  10. Wolf Braun says:

    Here’s a post that was made in the Comments section of the Intel earlier this week. I managed to connect with the poster who uses the pseudonymn BADGIRL to get her permission to repost her comments. She did share with me her real name. Here they are.

    ” Our health system is in a very bad state, worst than it has ever been. I hope POOCH makes some progress. Let me tell you my first experience at our new Belleville emergency. Saturday, June 22 I had a medical emergency and my husband took me down at 11 pm. A man arrived by ambulance but could walk so he sat down in triage near me. I was so ill I went in my PJ’s. After registering we sat for two hours. There were about a dozen people waiting, one young guy had black eyes and a swollen face, police brought him because he had been attacked at the music fest. We were all in need and had seen nobody go in or out. One man got on the triage phone and asked how long it would be. A man in a white jacket came and told us it would be at least 6 HOURS MORE because they were full up with only one doctor on duty. imagine on a busy Saturday night, just one doctor! My husband asked what they would do if there was a serious accident and bloody, injured people were brought in, would they wrap them in a blanket and make them wait in a chair? The guy in the white jacket just threw his arms in the air in desperation! The waiting until at least 5 am Sunday morning was just too much for me to bare so we decided to leave. At least 4 other patients stood up with me and decided to leave also. This is very sad when you need help and can get none! As we exited we seen wheel chairs and I could not believe my eyes! They were attached together and you had to pay a quarter to use one. You could get your quarter back when it was returned. This made me so ashamed of Belleville! Now I realize why the comment on here once said don’t ever get sick! I am over 60 and just devastated to see things go downhill this much! Kudos to Trenton and Picton for speaking up! ”

    It’s stories like this that P.O.O.C.H. needs to gather to help in getting control over our PECMH. If you have a story, please share it with us at

  11. Wolf Braun says:

    Thanks Lou. P.O.O.C.H. is not ready to give up just yet. BUT, the small group who is the committee do not want to make the next big decision alone. We are planning a public meeting with a target date of mid July…subject to confirming a location in Picton. We want the residents of the community to help make the decision on the two alternatives that we have come up with. I’m glad that you support keeping the effort alive. That’s one vote for YES. Thank you. Have you joined our Facebook group?

  12. Lou says:

    ummmm I dont think they should take NO for an answer. Maybe look for alternatives for the time being…as a back up…………My 2 cents is downt back down Keep at them.

    think its ministry being lazy. Doesnt want to break qhc apart..becuase of Money. bellevilles knickers all in a knot lately thinking they will lose PIcton and Trenton..and that means lose JOBS and lose money

    How about take some of bellevilles top salary positions and downsize them…..they get rid of necessary medical departments..but keep high paying desk jobs

    anyhow..dont back down!!!
    keep at them!@!!!!!

    my 2 cents
    i would be happy to help any way i can

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