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Proposals for cutbacks at Picton hospital will become reality if residents don’t voice concerns

Here we go again.
Due to a funding shortfall from the Ministry of Health, Quinte Healthcare will have to find $10 million in savings beginning  April 1. On Jan. 10 QHC announced a list of PROPOSED  changes. I will  concentrate on only those changes that affect PECMH.
* Inpatient beds will be reduced from 21 to 12. If this does happen, patients who are admitted will possibly have to  spend more time in the emergency department until a bed becomes available upstairs. As you can imagine, wait times in emerge will become longer.
* Babies would no longer be delivered in Picton and expectant parents would be directed to Belleville. Only 26 babies were born in Picton last year as opposed to 1,400-1,500 in Belleville. As a point of interest though, resident physicians from Queen’s University in Kingston train with our local physicians here in Picton. We have five doctors here in Picton who work with the residents in the delivery of babies on the maternity ward.  Invaluable training for those residents who plan on setting up a practice in small, or remote areas.
* The next proposal is to stop all outpatient physiotherapy with the remaining resources directed to inpatient physio. Keep in mind that the average cost to obtain treatment in a private physio clinic is approximately $50 per visit.
* Another proposal is to consolidate all endoscopy at BGH once the new operating rooms open there in 2014. For any of you who have had scopes at PECMH  you know that it is an extremely well run OR with caring and very competent nurses that most of you know. The operating room at PECMH performs approximately 18 scopes a day while having the lowest cost per patient as compared to other hospitals at QHC. We can only hope that the surgeons who perform these scopes “pick up the ball” on this proposed cut.
Once again patients will have to drive to BGH and pay very high parking rates there.  And I remind you that the cost of a taxi to Belleville one way is $50.
I have only touched on a few cuts .You can read in detail  all the proposals in the local media. I have been quoted  as saying I don’t totally blame QHC. They must find $10 million in savings so are looking at many options. I strongly encourage you to learn about and comment on the proposals at www.qhc.on.ca or by calling 613-969-7400 ext 2027.
You may also contact the SELHIN at 71 Adam St. Belleville K8N 5K3. They can also be reached at 613-967-1341or email at  southeast@lhins.on.ca.  The LHIN controls the funding so all proposals must be approved by them.
Other avenues to voice your concerns would be MPP Todd Smith, Minister of Health Deb Matthews and finally Mayor Peter Mertens and County councillors. Trenton Mayor John Williams is taking advice from local doctors, who state that patient safety may be at risk if there are major changes imposed at TMH. Like us in Pr. Ed. County, Trenton residents have had the fear of cuts to service taking place many times.
As I stated earlier, the blame is not totally with QHC but rather with the provincial Liberal government. This is a government that has a $15 billion deficit due largely to incompetence.This is a government that has wasted billions of dollars on programs such as E Health, Ornge Ambulance Services and the movement or cancellation of two gas turbine plants.This is also a government that paid Graham Scott $2,700. per day to reorganize QHC and impose more service cuts at our local hospital.
I don’t need to remind you all this was done with your taxpayer dollars. Hospital employees and the LHIN are also compensated by you the taxpayer.
Ladies and gentleman, I cannot encourage you enough to speak out  about these proposals and give QHC and the LHIN feedback.
I personally feel that  many of these proposals will become a reality if residents don’t voice their concerns. You can either sit back and say nothing, or you can speak up for our wonderful little County Hospital.  The decision is yours. Once we lose these services we will not get them back. By the way, PECMH  will celebrate its 100th birthday in just six years.  Let’s do everything possible to help it celebrate that momentous day.

-Fran

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Rosemary Smith says:

    As the grandmother of a baby born at PECMH I can speak first hand about the wonderful doctors, nurses, staff and overall atmosphere in Maternity. There is only one bed and if its occupied, you must go the Belleville. To lose this one bed, would be a great shame to parents and their extended families in Prince Edward County. I will be writing to QHC and the SELHIN to oppose these cuts.

  2. Myrna Wood says:

    Please everyone, lets follow Fran’s lead and contact:
    the Hospital http://www.qhc.on.ca or by calling 613-969-7400 ext 2027.
    the Lhin 613-967-1341or email at southeast@lhins.on.ca.
    Todd Smith MPP 613-962-1144
    Mayor Mertens 613-476-2148
    She is right. We stopped them closing our hospital once and we can do it again. Because that is what these cuts are – closing our access to the care we need here in our hospital.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    As usual a well written article–It is unbelievable that Picton be reduced to 10 beds. A lot of people in the county spent a lot of time and money to build the present hospital. The auxiliary is still working on building funding for use of this hospital.
    This is horrible thing to happen to our hospital

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