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Shortt’s ‘Nine More Beds’ song a reminder to attend Picton hospital meeting Wednesday

The Ontario Health Coalition has scheduled Town Hall meetings in Picton and Quinte West to share information on cuts at Quinte Health Care and to organize a local campaign to push back against the proposed cuts.

“All across Ontario, hundreds of hospital beds are being closed down,” said Michael McMahon, of the Quinte Health Coalition. “Local services are being cut and moved out of town and outpatient clinics are being privatized. While Ontario hospitals are funded at the lowest rate of any province in Canada, the current Ontario government has set funding rates at less than the rate of inflation. This means that hospitals are faced with deficits just to maintain existing services. But hospitals are not allowed to run deficits. If they are projecting a deficit, they are required to cut services.”

The Picton meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 27, 7:30 – 9pm, the Picton United Church, 12 Chapel St. Guest speaker councillor Barb Proctor.

Quinte West’s meeting is set for the same evening from 5 – 6:30 pm at City Hall, 7 Creswell Drive in Trenton. Guest speaker is councillor Sally Freeman.

“Our hospitals are already seriously overcrowded. More funding cuts compromise patient staff and safety,” says McMahon. “Meanwhile, Ontario’s Liberal government is cutting billions of dollars from health care.”

Quinte Health Care is seeking to cut $10 million – and possibly an addition $5 million –proposing to reduce the number of complex continuing care beds, eliminate outpatient physiotherapy, and divert lab services to the community. The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital will lose obstetrics care (maternity), the endoscopy program and will also face the closure of nine of 21 beds. Belleville General will lose 11 inpatient beds and Trenton Memorial Hospital will lose five inpatient beds – all of which have major implications for the emergency rooms. Patients will be diverted to Belleville, adding extra strain to its ER.

All concerned citizens are encouraged to attend these meetings.

PECMH

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