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Who will hold a public meeting for our hospital?

Hastings County councillors have joined Quinte West and Prince Edward County councillors in voicing objections to proposed hospital cuts.
During QHC’s presentation at County council’s meeting Jan. 31, many councillors said that they’re worried hospital cuts would hurt seniors and others.
Mayor Jo-Anne Albert said Tweed residents are telling her that the home-care system wasn’t there for them. She also stated that there were 280 people waiting for beds in Hastings Manor.

Former Prince Edward County Mayor Leo Finnegan has voiced the same concerns. He knows, just as many of us do, that changes must be made in health care, but done with an engaged community providing input as part of the solution. He goes on to say to QHC officials, “Put the alternatives in place, demonstrate that they work, then come back to talk to us.”

Here in Prince Edward County many residents/stakeholders would like to see a Town Hall meeting take place. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce, BIA or the municipality would consider organizing a respectful community meeting at the Picton United Church as the most logical venue. Time of course is of the essence as QHC hopes to have some of these changes in place by April, 2013.

Along with QHC senior officials and board members, perhaps Paul Huras of the SELHIN and local MPP Todd  Smith could also be invited.

I think that we all know that for “the County” to grow economically, we must have a strong hospital. Speaking of a strong hospital,  in 1998 when we were fighting amalgamation with QHC, the Women’s Institute sold Buttons saying “Keep Our Hospital Strong”. Perhaps they might consider doing this again. I guarantee that this would be a great fundraiser for them as the buttons would sell out very quickly.

Since 1997 it has been mainly County seniors that have been leading the fight to keep as many services as possible at PECMH. Today there is a whole new younger generation that are very social media savvy. Whether by email, Twitter or Facebook, they are adept at getting their message out quickly. Countylive has done an amazing job of posting hospital related articles in a timely manner and letting residents know where to address their concerns.

If you think perhaps you do not want to object to the proposed cuts, think about the legacy you are leaving your children or grandchildren. Since 1919, many residents have been diligent in doing all that they can to keep PECMH viable. I know that the medical community under the very capable leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Christie, President of the Prince Edward Family Health Team has been meeting with QHC to offer positive counter proposals for PECMH.

In 2009, The Friends of Prince Edward Health Services held a community meeting with two guest speakers. The first, Paul Huras, executive director of the SELHIN stated in his presentation that because numbers were down in Trenton and PECMH emergency departments at night, perhaps they might have to consider shutting down both depts. during the overnight hours.

As a point of interest, over 600,000 tourists visit the Sandbanks every year. Some of them would most certainly visit the emergency department at PECMH even in the overnight hours as emergencies are not time sensitive. The second speaker was Dr. Ray Dawes, from Barry’s Bay, chair of rural and small hospitals for the Ont. Medical Association. Dr. Dawes was a resident physician from Queen’s who spent his residency at PECMH working with Dr.Sally Sarles many years ago. The closing comment of his presentation was “Ladies and Gentleman you have a very fine hospital, do EVERYTHING you can to keep it.” Hopefully we all share Dr. Dawes sentiments.


South East LHIN
71 Adam Street
Belleville, Ontario
Canada K8N 5K3
(613) 967-0196
Toll-free – 1-866-831-5446
Fax (613) 967-1341
email .

Quinte Health Care
Corporate Headquarters
265 Dundas Street E,
Belleville, K8N 5A9
969-7400 ext 2027
Fax: (613) 968-8234
website feedback:

Contact information for Todd Smith, MPP

Belleville Office
81 Millennium Parkway, Unit 3
Belleville, ON
Tel: 613-962-1144
Fax: 613-969-6381
Toll Free: 1-877-536-6248
Mailing Address:
PO Box 575
Belleville, Ontario
K8N 5B2

Picton Office
Unit C
The Armory 206 Main Street
Picton , Ontario K0K 2T0
Tel: 613-476-9616

Queen’s Park Address
Room 357, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8
Tel : 416-325-2702
Fax: 416-325-2675

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Fran Renoy says:

    Thank you Janice for sending a letter to the LHIN,QHC and MPP Todd Smith objecting to the proposed cuts to PECMH. As you had worked at PECMH for several years I know that you realize how important and much needed our local hospital is to the residents of Prince Edward County.

  2. Doris Lane says:

    Marnie and that is before the cuts are made ==what we need is to add more beds. we used to have near 100 beds

  3. Marnie says:

    A friend of ours just spent the night in the ER because there were no beds at Picton hospital. The next morning she was sent home because there were still no beds and a couple more people had been placed in the ER. How does this equate to no reduction in services?

  4. Janice Hickey Scharf says:

    Fran – here is copy of the letter is just sent to QHC, LHIN and Smith’s office using the email above.

    “When we look at those bed reductions, its very analytical data that has driven us to where the beds are being reduced,” Egberts said. “And I want to remind everybody that just because you have a reduction in beds, does not equate to a reduction in service, or a reduction in quality care. So it’s not about cutting beds, it’s about ensuring the service is going to be provided in the best place for the hospital.”

    To Whom It May Concern,

    Above is a quote from CEO Egberts. Does she and the LHIN think that we are that gullible? Does the LHIN plan on putting those “cut Picton” beds at BGH? Just because you cut beds, does not mean that you reduce illness or the need for those beds. I wish that your ‘logic’ was reality. It would solve all of the ills of the world. According to your wisdom and site, all society would have to do is reduce beds in hospitals and therefore we reduce the people we need them. TaDa! No one gets sick! Yea!

    Speaking directly to Egberts claim above…. She is out right wrong. Reducing beds = reducing staff = reducing services = reducing access —- although each professional that is left, will do their best to provide quality care… but just without the support and colleagues and fellow professionals and resources that they need.

    Also the point that this community swells during the tourist season. Provincial parks in the area had well over 1/2 MILLION visitors last summer. Lets hope they don’t get sick….

    Janice Hickey Scharf MRT, RDMS, BSc. CRGS.
    Chairperson of the Canadian Association of Registered Ultrasound Professionals
    And long time resident of Prince Edward County and former employee of Picton Hospital.

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