It is that time again that our local hospitals are under fire once more. This time for the sake of saving a five hundred thousand dollars allegedly for equipment.
Conveniently ignored is the impact on our smaller towns. Simple logic will show that a town without a proper hospital is less attractive for new doctors, teachers, businesses, or retirees. The numbers are impossible to prove without expensive studies, but I for one would not have come to Meaford without a high school or a hospital having been here.
Then there is the poorly explained confusion about these savings. Surely there is more than one endoscope or whatever needed in one year, even if all of it was concentrated in Owen Sound. Just explain it better to us how it can save money not to have half of this equipment located in all the smaller hospitals.
Besides, I distinctly remember that we were assured that local fundraising for the hospitals was to be used for local equipment, and specifically not for other expenses. Honestly, how much has been raised and spend locally? All together surely more than these alleged savings!
And then there is a plan spending more than twenty (-four?) million dollars for a new school in Meaford while the former high school still looks quite OK. Delay that plan a year or so, and use those savings to beef up our local hospital. You can invest this amount and easily get a million dollars interest every single year!
I suggest that there is considerable doubt and mistrust due to a lack of openness. I have been in business long enough to know that a good accountant and lawyer can prove just about anything by manipulating statistics and numbers, heck yeah, I have done it myself. But small town Ontario needs much more than some slick fast talk. The value of local items like schools and hospitals and doctors is incalculable. Yes, Owen Sound, with its declining population, disappearing industry, and dying mall needs all the help it can get, but do not allow it strangle its neighbours to justify its own existence.
Walter Kuitert, Meaford