Sunday, October 17, 2021

Proposed hospital changes does ‘not meet our expectations’

wallaceburg ER

The chair of the Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) board said some proposed changes made in-camera by the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance about healthcare delivery in Wallaceburg, Walpole Island First Nation and the catchment area “do not meet our minimum expectations.”

Sheldon Parsons told the Sydenham Current the SDH board has shared their own views with the other members of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Tri-Board.

“We were presented with a report outlining the way in which healthcare services, in part, and including the emergency department would be delivered to this area and our catchment area. That report did not meet our expectations or the principles that we believed that we should be providing healthcare services.”

Parsons added: “Any change that is being proposed to healthcare services being delivered in our community and our catchment area, needs to meet those conditions and criteria and principles. We intend to promote that on a go-forward basis.”

Parsons released the following letter to SDH members and the media just prior to the Wallaceburg Health Coalition meeting on Thursday:

The Chair’s Message to Members

Thanks to everyone who attended our members’ meeting on the 23rd of March. From the information that was shared at that meeting and because of some speculation around healthcare services at SDH including the emergency department, your SDH Board felt that it is our responsibility to post an update on the latest developments.

We will provide a fuller report to you at our planned meeting to be held at the UAW Hall on April 19th beginning at 5pm.

While April 19th is an SDH Corporate Members’ meeting, all of the public are welcome and are encouraged to attend, so please pass the word and help to ensure a good turnout.

On the issue of Healthcare Services at SDH and particularly regarding the Emergency Department that we all rely on so much, the SDH Board, as a part of CKHA, received a report on a proposal to change the manner in which healthcare services would be delivered to the North Kent, Sydenham, Walpole, St. Clair and South Lambton Regions.

These proposed changes, presented in camera at an Alliance Board Meeting, do not meet our minimum expectations. We expect to be able to share the detail of this report with you on the 19th of April.

As an interim measure, the SDH Board has developed a number of principles that would guide our consideration of any proposed changes. We would like to share these principles with you.

SDH Directors are in unanimous agreement:

– we need a new facility to replace the current building

– we need a 24/7 emergency department with ancillary services such as lab and diagnostics

– we could and should co-locate with other healthcare providers

– we could and should offer a one-stop-shop for as many of our communities healthcare needs as possible – one door leading to many services – integrated to be as efficient as possible

– we need a heliport facility

We have met a number of times, separately and jointly with the PGH and St Josephs boards within the Alliance. We have consistently promoted the above principles. We attended a number of key meetings over the last two months dealing with the building condition at SDH and the budget deficit issues that we face across CKHA, but we have yet to achieve any sort of agreement with the Boards for PGH or St Josephs Hospitals on how to move forward with either issue.

We will continue to represent you and our communities and work with our healthcare partners, the LHIN and with the Ministry of Health to ensure that a proposal is developed that will meet with our principles and your expectations.

– Sheldon Parsons, Chair SDH

Parsons told the Sydenham Current the report he is referring to was received by the SDH board during an in-carmer meeting on March 31.

“We will work to get it uncloaked so that it can be shared,” Parsons said.

“What we can say right now is the report does not meet the conditions that we have set. Therefore, we will continue to work with our partners, we’ll continue to work with the LHIN, we’ll continue to work with the Ministry of Health to make sure that any change our healthcare system and the delivery of healthcare meets those conditions.”

The SDH board is inviting the public to their next meeting, being held at the UAW Hall in Wallaceburg.

The meeting will get underway at 5 p.m.

More details and coverage:

Health coalition meeting recap, April 7: New health Coalition fighting for Wallaceburg’s hospital

Advocacy group formed: New hospital advocacy group holding town-hall meeting

Full interview with CKHA CEO: CKHA president discusses Wallaceburg hospital situation

March 23 meeting recap: ‘Everything has to be on the table’

LIVE coverage of March 23 meeting: Wallaceburg hospital meeting at the UAW Hall

MPP bringing concerns to Queen’s Park: MPP: ‘The community spoke loud’

March 23 meeting preview: Doubts arising about Wallaceburg’s ER future

CKHA facing deficit: CKHA board meeting highlights

Imagine project background: New direction for a brand new Wallaceburg hospital

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