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Picton hospital services worth celebrating in spite of changes

This past year has been very eventful for our local hospital. On Oct.14/09, Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital celebrated its 50th birthday. To mark this momentous day our local hospital foundation hosted an open house to celebrate the opening and rededication of the new Dr. B. Earle Taylor Emergency Department. The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation along with the help of the Auxiliary and local donors from our community were able to donate almost $1,000,000 towards the construction, furnishings and equipment in this larger revamped department.

Of interest, our local P.E.C.M.H. Auxiliary which consists of approximately 260 working members has logged 20,500 volunteer hours this past year. This is quite commendable when you compare these numbers to Belleville (which has approximately 10 times the number of beds) where approximately 26,000 volunteer hours were worked.

In December Quinte Health Care (with supervisor Graham Scott’s approval I suspect) made the decision to no longer have a site administrator at P.E.C.M.H.. A site manager ( a nurse) now administers the day to day operations with a program manager visiting our site periodically.

After 50 years the lab at P.E.C.M.H. was closed in 2009. If you are an in patient or an emergency patient your blood will be taken by a nurse who then calibrates the results with a Point of Care Machine. A phlebotomist also takes blood for Q.H.C. clinic and pre op patients. If you are a routine out patient, Life Labs will take your blood at the Picton Clinic Mon. to Fri. from 8-12. If you are unable to make it to the Picton Clinic in these limited hours, Life Labs management has indicated that you may go to Napanee, Belleville or Trenton all of which are open from 4 to 7 hours longer than Picton. A few physicians offices will also take blood.

Our hospital presently has 22 beds along with two maternity beds. This includes a few monitored beds. The operating room which is run by four very efficient and experienced nurses performs approximately 16 colonoscopies and/or endoscopes per day. All day surgery is done at Trenton Memorial Hospital.

Unfortunately the Diabetic Nurse/Educator and Dietician have been seconded to Belleville and Trenton. They developed the Diabetic Education Program approximately 17 years ago and were well known for the excellent program that they ran. Their patients will now have to travel out of the county if they wish to continue this service with Q.H.C.. The other option is to go to the Family Health Team Diabetic Educator whom I suspect now has a very long waiting list.

Our hospital still operates a Physiotherapy Department that treats in patients and limited out patients. Our Diagnostic Department (X-ray Department) performs ultra sound, mammography and all regular x-rays. There is a radiologist who comes from Belleville to P.E.C.M.H. periodically.

Hopefully this gives you somewhat of an overview of the services offered here at our local hospital. In a media interview, the new Q.H.C. CEO Marie Clare Egberts stated, “we must learn to respect the culture of our communities”. Many of us have been waiting 12 years to hear a Q.H.C. senior administration official acknowledge this priority. She is to be commended for recognizing this concern.

On a sad note, P.E.C.M.H. lost a truly wonderful friend with the passing of Peter Fleck. Few people were aware of the fact that for almost twenty years every Christmas morning Peter would don his Santa suit and visit every patient in the hospital. He and his elf (his wife Nancy who is a nurse at P.E.C.M.H.) would distribute Christmas gifts supplied by themselves and the Hospital Auxiliary. How fortunate that Peter and Nancy were there to make Christmas a little more cheery for the patients.
Fran Renoy, Picton

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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