A Comment from Linda McKellar, a retired health care worker and Niagara,Ontario resident living in the Town of Fort Erie
Posted September 22nd, 2016 on Niagara At Large
This past Tuesday, September 20th, I had occasion to go to the “marvellous” (sarcasm) new St Catharines hospital from Fort Erie for the first time.
A sunny day, late morning, not rush hour, no accidents, some construction, but it took almost an hour. Lots of traffic on the adjacent streets and numerous stoplights to go through. ER wait time was listed as four hours, which I realize is inconvenient but not dastardly for non urgent issues.
I had to wait for someone to leave to find a parking space costing $8. (Even staff pay for parking. Imagine demanding GM employees pay for parking so they could go to work!).
Meanwhile, I’m SO glad I wasn’t sick myself or having a major acute incident of any type. Lovely lobby but who cares? If I want a lovely lobby I can go to a Hilton or the Savoy. Also interesting that it is adjacent to a rail line carrying who knows what? The bed space is less than in the hospitals it replaced.
Meanwhile, Fort Erie (the one-time hospital there) is reduced to a clinic and palliative care (where people are sent to die, often from other communities inaccessible to their elderly loved ones) and Port Colborne is reduced to a clinic. Even a lot of equipment acquired through local donations to the auxiliaries were pilfered for other sites.
Next will be Welland.
The only reason Fort Erie and Port Colborne have ANY remnant of what they once had was due to protests by locals. Welland has had services cut. Niagara Falls the same.
I’ll be long dead before I see any new hospital in south Niagara, maybe BECAUSE there will be no new hospital. WE DON’T MATTER.
The care you get depends on where you live and who you are. Many are sent home too early and end up as readmissions due to relapses or infections. Where’s the economy in that? Often the caretakers they are sent home to are elderly spouses incapable of providing the necessary care.
The site of the new St Catharines hospital could have been much more central and accessible but couldn’t have that! No doubt somebody made big money from placing it on its current site.
Public input and suggestions by medical professionals were totally ignored and promises by Queen Sevenfigures about maintaining the community hospitals as “full service” were total lies and she knew it. Where is she now?
This is all about politics. I truly believe that lobbyists are greasing many palms to cut services and then can claim; “Oh my god, the system isn’t working! We need to get private insurance!”
This has been the goal of big multinational insurance companies since our universal system took its first breaths. They’re still trying with the same propaganda and tactics.
Read the history of our struggles to get universal care. Let us pray they never succeed.
Rallies I attended in Toronto were virtually IGNORED in the news (except on CHCH) despite their size and the myriad communities protesting, Guelph, Cambridge, the Sault, Kingston, Stratford, North Bay, Ottawa, Winsor, Sarnia, communities all over the province.
Currently a doctor in British Columbia is trying to sue the government saying that not allowing private medical services is against the Charter of Rights.
Wonder who is encouraging (and maybe financially backing) him. Biggest cause of bankruptcies in the US? You guessed it. Forty-two percent are due to unpaid medical bills. A travesty.
Wake up Welland.
Wake up all communities in Ontario that will lose their local hospitals. Attend these meetings and rallies. WE need to take back the right to have equality in health care, not just the wealthy or those in the big cities. We deserve it. Everyone deserves it.
The Following List of Public Meetings, including one scheduled for the Niagara community of Welland on Wednesday, September 28th, was compiled by the Ontario Health Coalition, a citizens’ advocacy group for quality public health care across the province.
Upcoming Local Health Coalition Meetings Across Ontario
Attend a meeting near you!
Durham Health Coalition Meeting’ Monday September 26, 7 p.m., Unifor Local 222, 1425 Phillip Murray Ave, Oshawa
Oxford Health Coalition Meeting, Tuesday September 27, 7 p.m., 70 Glenn Ave, Sweaburg, South-West Oxford
Stratford and Area Concerned Citizens’ Meeting, Wednesday September 28, 5 p.m., For details about location, please contact Haldie Wicke 519-275-0185
Welland Save Our Hospital Meeting, Wednesday September 28, 6:30 p.m., Welland City Hall (Community Room), 60 Main St.
Thunder Bay Health Coalition Meeting, Wednesday October 12, 5 p.m., United Way of Thunder Bay, 1006 – 715 Hewitson St.
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders