Saturday, February 24, 2024

Potential Loss of Operating Room at Meaford Hospital Cause For Concern

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Your article regarding possible elimination of operating room services at GBHS Meaford touches on a subject of great concern.

This action has not been caused by the GBHS administration in Owen Sound. Over the past few years, after the provincial government made funding formula adjustments negatively affecting all hospitals in lower density population areas, GBHS was formed and brought several area facilities under one umbrella. They worked diligently to create an efficient, professional, well-run health service while maintaining several small community hospitals. And this was done with balanced budgets. Having made use of the facilities locally and in Owen Sound, I am thankful they were able to accomplish this.

And, they did not do it alone. As happens in smaller communities, residents came together and made very kind and generous donations to pay for capital costs, such as new equipment to keep the services current. These capital costs are not covered by provincial funding.

I believe it may be time for us to come together again.

The recent NEC plan changes and the resulting postponement show what we can accomplish when we make enough noise and get noticed. If we all take the time, this week, to send a letter, e-mail, tweet, whatever, to our local and County councils, to get them to join us with their letters to let Queen’s Park know this is not acceptable and the funding formula needs adjustment to accommodate lower density populations. Send them to our MPP, the Premier, the Minister of Health, and anyone else of influence. And if you are unsure as to where or how to send them, I am sure a phone call to our MPP’s office in Owen Sound will provide that answer.

We must stop this assault on small town Ontario which noticeably began with our health services a few years ago and is spreading to education now. The loss of our health services and schools affects our quality of life, local employment, property values, and community services.

Respectfully,

Gerald Knight, Meaford

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