I have significant concerns regarding the proposed changes in surgical services, listed below are just a few.
I have lived in Meaford since February 2002 and have made numerous donations to the operation of Meaford hospital. Like myself, there are many members of the community who have donated to requests for equipment and support for this vital facility in Meaford. Over the years, I and many of my neighbours have attended this facility – not out of choice but out of need. It is always busy whenever I am there – just last week I was there for a Bone Scan on a Friday afternoon; during my time there (1 hour) 2 ski accidents arrived, also several people came for their appointments. I go for monthly appointments and am always amazed by the frequency of others who are at the hospital.
Recently I needed to make an appointment for a Bone Scan. I called scheduling at Meaford hospital and was told I needed to call Owen Sound hospital to arrange a visit (to Meaford hospital). When I phoned Owen Sound I was told I needed to fax a copy of the doctor's requisition to them before a date could be assigned. If I did this they would then schedule a visit to Meaford for me. When I asked if I should follow up to get a date I was told you will have to call Meaford! Surely, cumbersome administrative procedures like this take time and extra personnel costs. Is this an example of streamlining?
I understand that the bottom line is important to business and that cost overruns should not be tolerated. However, it is the 'soft' costs that appear in this case to have been pushed aside. The volume of services to seniors, the number of families that require attention as well as the many 'marginal' folk who come in for help is extremely important to this community. Alternative medical help is at least an additional half hour drive away (in good weather) and for many this proves to be a challenge.
I hope this budgetary plan can be adjusted to reflect the concerns of many – I know of people who feel anxious about what the future holds for them if the proposed changes go ahead. Forward thinking is needed, not only for the dollars involved but for the affect it has on the local community.
Please, please look carefully and consider our future.
Christine Codrington, Meaford