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Six jobs to be eliminated at County hospital

County Mayor Robert Quaiff has learned six jobs could be eliminated at the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital despite being told earlier there would no cuts.

“I’m shocked and dismayed with this announcement as previous communication said no cuts were coming to the Picton site,” said Quaiff. “I have personally spoken with QHC CEO Mary Clare Egberts, and MPP Todd Smith today. I’m hopeful to have conversation with Health minister Hoskins expressing my concern with the further erosion of services to our community.”

Three full-time and three part-time positions at PECMH expected to be cut: a full-time hospitality service worker from the Unifor union; one full-time RN Team Leader from the ONA and a full time physiotherapist from the OPSEU union; a part-time Registered Nurse from the ONA, a part-time patient reg clerk from the SEIU union and a part time Registered Practical Nurse position from Unifor, currently vacant.

QHC needs to remove $11.5 million in expenses next year in order to operate within reduced funding levels and cover inflation. This includes a $7 million reduction in administration/support departments and $4.5 million in patient care areas.

QHC said earlier in the week that if the proposed changes are fully implemented, there would be 84 fewer positions at QHC. The release explains the proposed changes would eliminate 162 positions and add 78 new positions. Of the 162 positions, 38 are already vacant. Of the 78 new positions, 48 can be used for automatic reassignments and the remaining 30 can be used for other reassignment opportunities or job postings.

Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, says that the management of Quinte Health Care has “invented a new magical language to paint a prettier picture of its cuts to registered nurses that threaten the safety of patients needing care.

“Throwing around expressions such as “changing the interprofessional care model” and “supporting the senior-friendly hospital strategy” to announce devastating RN cuts to units at Quinte Health Care sites is just an attempt to fool the community into believing that patient care will not suffer,” said Haslam-Stroud.

“In fact, the loss of a total of 33 full-time and 12 part-time registered nurses is the loss of almost 100,000 hours of hands-on, RN care per year for our patients – plain and simple.”

Haslam-Stroud said the cuts to RNs are occurring across three sites, with RNs cut from Trenton Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, operating room and recovery room, RNs cut from Belleville’s complex continuing care rehab, medicine unit and rehab day hospital, surgical unit, infection control and newly formed Women/Children unit, and RNs cut from Picton’s endoscopy unit and in-patient unit.

The QHC board meets Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. at Belleville General Hospital, Education Centre, WCA Wing, level 2. Members are expected to approve the restructuring in principle and make the final decision in January for implementationApril 1.

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  1. Marnie says:

    You’re right Chuck. It’s going nowhere. However, an elderly fried of mine did have her leg amputated when she was 90. She had breast cancer and it had spread. The outcome was pretty much a no-brainer but they amputated anyway. The end result was the same. She died. She could have been spared the trauma of what was pretty obviously a futile operation. That’s not picking and choosing, it’s an heroic measure that did not improve the situation.

    The health care crisis is not helped by the huge salaries paid to those at the top. But they will never make cuts there. The amount of money these people receive is obscene.

  2. Chuck says:

    I see, you would pick and choose what treatment or preventative medicine was provided. It’s ok to permit the spread of cancer and suffer the result. I think this discussion is going nowhere. The bottom line is health care is going to be stretched beyond our current ability to pay.

  3. Marnie says:

    @Chuck What do you call it when you withhold a flu shot from a senior in diapers who has dementia? I believe that was the scenario you painted. If the senior gets the flu he or she will suffer and may die a painful death. How is this humane? I agree that it would not be kind or logical to perform major surgery on someone in this state i.e. amputation of a leg to prevent the spread of cancer – but there is no reason to withhold basic health care measures such as a flu shot.It’s one thing if an individual seeks euthanasia and quite another when others want to make this call.

  4. Susan says:

    TMH picked up where POOCH left off, but have a leadership group that is very serious about leaving Quinte Health Care. They are a serious threat to QHC and the LHIN’s. This is a war none want to lose. Will be interesting how this plays out. And if the new Liberal feds give TMH the veterans centre, QHC will look for ways to suck that $$ out. Unless of course Trenton wins and goes independent. That scenario leaves Picton even more vulnerable. My take.

  5. Chuck says:

    Don’t recall where any relief of suffering was suggested to be removed. I wouldn’t want to have anyone suffer. However there is now another Canadian woman fighting for euthanasia to end her suffering and poor quality of life.

  6. Marnie says:

    @Fred. Good to know!

  7. Marnie says:

    How is it playing God to alleviate suffering Chuck?

  8. Chuck says:

    So which is it Marnie? You state “it is not easy to play God and we shouldn’t try” but then you promote medicinal interference for an individual who has no faculties or quality of life to maintain an existence. Sure sounds like you do want to play God.

  9. Fred says:

    I was created the usual way, two people got together and did their thing! Of course it was a man and a woman.

  10. Marnie says:

    Fred, it would seem you are one of the politically correct who looks for reasons to be offended. Playing God is a common saying which simply means taking the role of a higher power or tampering with fate,if you prefer. Unless you are self-invented,or,turned up in a cabbage patch someone or some higher power,perhaps Spock,created you. As I see it you can wait for that individual or force to remove you in good time or leave instructions that you are to be allowed to succumb to whatever grievous ailments may plague you in your old age. Hope you recover from the God reference but if it is too painful check out Chuck’s solution.

  11. Chuck says:

    I think POOCH was quieted somewhat but they have pulled the knives out again to draw a little more blood. TMH are a real threat and are not swaying from their goal to go it alone. If they get the Veterans Care Centre as expected they may succeed.

  12. Taffy says:

    No QHC director will enjoy implementing the decisions with which they are faced. As (presumably) community minded volunteers they have the option of saying “no way” and resigning. Come to think of it,there is no real need for a Board of directors in any event. QHC is in reality run by its management and the local LHIN, both of whom in effect implement what’s required of them by Queen’s Park. Save the cost, aggravation and appearance of meaningful (actually powerless) “leadership”.

  13. Fred says:

    You made some good discussion points until you closed by bringing God into it. For many God has nothing to do with this choice.

  14. Marnie says:

    You make a good point, Fred. A lot of those disabled seniors in nursing homes would not choose to live that way. But it is not as simple as making a decision to end it all before becoming totally dependent. Stroke victims have little warning that they are about to become helpless. Alzheimer patients may not be aware that they are slowly retreating into a world of their own. Medical issues develop without warning in many instances. So what is the answer? Should we be humanely dispatched when we pass the age of 65 to avoid future long-term dependencies? Do our children get to authorize euthanasia if we cannot speak for ourselves? Do we put to sleep the mentally handicapped who exist like vegetables in institutions? How about the drug addicts and alcoholics who take up space in treatment centres and relapse time after time? It’s not easy to play God and we should not try.

  15. Paul Cole says:

    Hildagard I agree 100% with every single word you’ve said below…Spot on

  16. crazyiness says:

    Imagine everyone’s reaction if more than 6 jobs out of the 84 jobs cut came from PEC?

    All whine, there is nothing anyone can do about these losses.

  17. Hildagard says:

    I think the writing is on the wall! Prince Edward will never see a new hospital! This is just a scam–making the County think they are getting a new facility! The County was very militant in fighting for their hospital and stopping the cuts–what better way to shut them up–tell them a new hospital is on its way!!! What a farce!! Poor TMH seem to be fighting the battle alone now! QHC and the province did a great job of suppressing POOCH–divide and conquer seems to have won! It’s just a matter of time before everything moves to Belleville!! The writing is on the wall! Wake up folks and smell the scam!!

  18. Fred says:

    It is a discussion most do not like to have or avoid. There are thousands clogging up retirement homes that have no quality of life and had they known prior would not choose to be kept alive in that state. It is really something that will come to the forefront for debate. It is not an issue that should involve religion. It should be based upon personal choices. A person should have the choice to will their ending prior to entering a state of helplessness.

  19. polistinker says:

    from The Oct27 Huffington Post:
    And as the public watches “entitled” physicians struggle and crumble under the barrage of Liberal hostility, they miss the very real danger of a government stuffing an already glutted health care system with more administration. As David Gatzer pointed out, this is “a system designed for political popularity, not smart policy.”

    The Ontario Liberals have been in power since 2003. During a reign marked by fiscal scandal, they have convinced the public that a politician makes better medical decisions than their own doctors and nurses. Although our health care system needs a massive overhaul, this government has dragged its heels.

    Until 2012 when they commissioned the Drummond Report, a 20-year plan that meticulously lists hundreds of cost-saving recommendations across various public sectors, including health care. One of Drummond’s key recommendations: cut down on bureaucratic waste.

    Given Premier Wynne’s platform promising debt reduction, one would expect her to gleefully announce every penny saved through these recommendations. Instead, we get silence.

    Since that first 543-page report wasn’t detailed enough for the Wynne government, the Baker-Price report came along in 2014.

    A light read at 34 pages, this report paints primary care reform in broad strokes, stating explicitly that its proposal needs further refinement. Yet, it is being implemented without further thought or contribution from vital stakeholders: front-line workers like physicians, nurses, or nurse practitioners; community agencies; local hospitals; or pre-existing government organizations like the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). In characteristically impulsive fashion, the Liberal government has decided this report is the blueprint to a better health care system.

    According to this proposal, every Ontarian will get medical access. Increased accessibility and patient satisfaction will equate to better pay. It seems like such a simple solution to something as convoluted as our health care system.

    But to paraphrase Mencken: “For every complex problem, there is a solution that is clear, simple and totally wrong.”

    It shouldn’t surprise you that the Price report starts with adding another layer of bureaucracy to our congested health care system: the Patient Care Group (PCG). Another group of administrators to pay from a dwindling public purse. And like every dollar spent in taxes, there are two sides to this story.

  20. Vic says:

    i wonder what would happen if the QHC Board members stood together said no to the planned cuts? As Mrs.Egberts will have less staff to administer, therefore less work, perhaps she and her senior admin team should logically take a pay cut of say $25000 for her and a similiar percentage for the others – that would hardly hurt them given their current levels of remuneration. Money saved there would no doubt cover a number of the front line positions that are being cut. Guess what? None of that will happen as they probably have iron clad personal service contracts and the Board members seem to simply rubber stamp admin plans. Sad eh? Oh by the way Chuck you seem to be going down a somewhat slippery slope. Everyone has a right to the best health care possible regardless of age,etc. Taxes are simply the price we pay for living in a civilized society.

  21. Chuck says:

    It was just a view point and an example of the over stretched health care system and that modern medicine has contributed to that issue. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so blunt and direct. We have huge issues and they will multiply wildly in the next 25 years as boomers fade on.

  22. Marnie says:

    Let’s take it further Chuck. Should we stop treating all people over 65 for cancer because they are old and it’s almost time for them to shuffle off anyway? Do we withhold medication for diabetes when people pass a certain age, because they are about to overstay their welcome? Who decides these things? Denying a flu shot to an elderly person with dementia makes no sense and shows total lack of compassion. What if they don’t die but just suffer until the flu virus runs its course? In the meantime they may infect others or is this the plan? You make it sound as if we should return to those barbaric days when the US army infected blankets with small pox bacteria, then gave them to the Indians. How old are you anyhow? You may want to revisit your plan for eliminating the weak and mentally unsound in a few years time. I see the challenges facing today’s health care system but I do not agree that the solution is to withhold medication from the elderly in an effort to get them out of the way, even if they do have dementia and wear diapers. In fact. such a suggestion is downright offensive. It was their tax dollars that helped to build and maintain our hospital.

  23. Chuck says:

    Not providing a flu shot is not playing God. The more medical advances the longer persons with no quality of life whatsoever live on and on in diapers. Prior to some of these interventions nature had it’s own way of removing the old and weak. It may sound cruel but it may be more humane by allowing nature to take it’s course.

  24. Marnie says:

    @Chuck. I see your point but I am glad I’m not your aging mom. No flu shot for me if I lose my marbles. Do we “put down” the handicapped and how about prisoners who are serving life sentences? Is today’s health care just for the young and sound of mind? Maybe we should not use heroic measures to keep the elderly alive with no quality of life but we certainly have no right to play God.

  25. Paul Cole says:

    Sad, slowly Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital is dwindling away. Losing front line staff because highly paid Administrative staff are needed to figure out ways to save money, sounds ridiculous but it seems to be the case…

  26. Chuck says:

    Marnie; expectations on the health care system are unrealistic. It is not sustainable 24/7 for every ailment. Something has to give unless you are prepared to dig down deep and pay a lot more taxes. And I am sure you are aware many very aging persons are living far beyond what the system can support. Many live without any comprehension of where they even are. Modern medicine is great to fight disease and provide good lives for those that can flourish and experience it. Modern medicine with a flu shot for example that keeps a 89 year old with dementia alive to 100 is not nature’s way. It is also not sustainable.

  27. Marnie says:

    So we just roll over and die telling ourselves that it trumps a painful life? We allow ourselves out be weeded out by disease and call it Nature’s way? Sorry Chuck but that does not cut it. We are not in a wolf pack. If we can take in 25,000 Syrian refugees we should be able to provide health care to Canadians who need it. Staying away from hospitals and trying to be our own physicians is not the answer. Are we so easily brow-beaten into thinking this is what we deserve?

  28. Chuck says:

    Health Care costs are not sustainable. With the baby boomers aging the system will not be able to cope. Doris may be right, look after yourself. If you can’t sometimes death trumps a poor painful life. Case in point flu used to wipe out the old and weak prior to the shot. It’s nature’s way!

  29. Betty Herbin says:

    I am madder than hell. This is absolutely ridiculous. When will you BGH stop taking away everything we have. You are so stupid you do not know where to eliminate the for the deficit. You are disgusting.

  30. Doris Lane says:

    Health Care all over Ontario in every health care facility is not good. We are living in very difficult times. The best idea is to stay away from hospitals etc and just stay at home and look after yourself.

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