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QHC balances budget, declares commitment to hospitals

A week after Prince Edward County took its first step to remove its hospital from the Quinte Healthcare Corporation, the QHC board of directors passed a motion to reaffirm commitment to its four hospitals during the health care transformation taking place in Ontario.

“We have heard considerable concerns in the community about the future of QHC’s hospitals,” said Brian Smith, board chair. “As a board, we wanted to send a clear message that all hospitals are here to stay, including the 24-hour emergency rooms.

“Change is always difficult and we have many difficult years ahead of us,” said Smith. “Throughout these challenging times, the QHC board will remain committed to all four hospitals. Each hospital has a different role, but they are all tremendously important to the overall health care system in this region.”

The board passed the motion after approving a balanced budget for the 2013/14 fiscal year that began April 1. The budget’s $10 million in cuts and changes is expected to manage the new funding model for hospitals.

“We still firmly believe in the health care transformation that is taking place across Ontario,” said Mary Clare Egberts, QHC president and CEO, in a statement. “It will ensure the long-term sustainability of our public health care system. More importantly, our patients will be better supported to stay healthy longer and return home faster after a hospital stay, with the right assistance.”

“Through its Action Plan for Health Care,  the Ministry of Health Long Term Care is putting much more of a focus on wellness and chronic disease management, with more care managed in the community, rather than in a hospital,” the statment continued. “At the same time that QHC and hospitals across Ontario are seeing a reduction in funding, other health care providers are having their funding increased as part of the shift in providing more care in the local communities and reduce the dependence on the expensive hospital system.”

Motion passed by QHC board on April 23, 2013:
“The Board of Directors of Quinte Health Care remains committed to QHC’s strategic plan and mission to be an integrated system of four hospitals working with our partners to provide exceptional care to the people of our communities. What this means to the Board is that:
·         Our hospitals will have: a 24 hour emergency room and the appropriate number of inpatient beds.
·         Our four hospitals will work together in an integrated manner to improve the delivery and access to care for all of the citizens in our communities.
·         QHC will work with our local health care partners to meet the needs of the patients in an integrated manner, for services not delivered within the hospital.

“The Board remains committed to the unique roles of each of the four QHC hospitals:
·         QHC Belleville General Hospital will continue to be the secondary level hospital for the region that provides the bulk of the specialized services.
·         QHC Trenton Memorial Hospital will continue to develop as a regional centre of ambulatory care, with day surgery and a range of other regional outpatient services.
·         QHC Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital will continue to be a rural community hospital serving the residents of Prince Edward County. In addition, QHC will continue to advocate for our model that was developed in partnership with the Prince Edward Family Health Team to create a fully integrated hospital and health care centre in Picton and better meet the needs of the local community.
·         QHC North Hastings Hospital will continue to offer primary hospital-based services closer to home.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Marnie says:

    Sometimes it is emotion that drives us to succeed when logic would dictate otherwise Virginia. I believe logic has been tried on Mary Clare and Co. with no noticeable results. Kudos to Quinte West mayor John Williams for getting emotional about what is happening to our hospitals.

  2. Wolf Braun says:

    One has to wonder if QHC executives were to be asked how long they are to be committed to their statement, they might do some back paddling.

  3. virginia says:

    There was a good editorial in the Gazette this week. Some important questions to be answered. We need logic, not emotion.

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