Saturday, January 22, 2022

SDH board responds to doctors’ endorsement

sheldon parsons

Two members of the Sydenham District Hospital board sat in the Frank and Mary Uniac Auditorium in Chatham on Tuesday to hear the presentation by the Medical Advisory Committee of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Sheldon Parsons, chair of the board, was joined by Kris Lee, board member, as a panel of Chatham-Kent’s top doctors announced their unanimous support for the hospital’s capital and operating plans, and specifically how emergency services should be delivered across Chatham-Kent.

“There are a lot of things that we are going to ask questions about and we’ll expect our staff to come up with those answers, or we may have to go to some independent people to get those answers,” Parsons said.

“They’re concerned about CTAS (Canadian Triage Activity Score) 1 and 2. The project they are endorsing goes well beyond CTAS 1 and 2. It may be a nuance, but it is a significant issue for us as we consider these reports that are coming forward and what is the best care for all of the residents of Chatham-Kent, and all of the residents of Sydenham, Walpole and St. Clair.”

Parsons said the plan they’re endorsed does not consider Walpole Island.

“We get that question all the time and this solution doesn’t provide any answer for it,” he said.

“It’s on the map, but not considered.”

Parsons said another item that was not included in the presentation was the fact that Sydenham District Hospital have destination protocols in place.

“Our board has indicated from the time that we were asked to make a decision on this that we are prepared to consider additional destination protocols, so the patient gets to the right care,” Parsons said.

“I think that has unfortunately been ignored. We’ve made that statement publicly and we will continue to say that. If a patient has to go to Sunnybrook, than they get in the helicopter and they go there. If they have to go to Sarnia or Chatham, then they go there. Only 8% of patients turn up at a hospital by ambulance, that’s the situation in Wallaceburg. The rest walk in. If they have a serious condition, it’s the staff’s job at Wallaceburg to make sure they are evaluated and given the best care we can, and stabilized and transported to make sure they get the right care as quickly as they can.”

Here is a statement issued by the SDH board during following Tuesday’s meeting:

“Sydenham District Hospital Board takes patient safety and quality of care issues very seriously. We work hard to ensure that patients are cared for and residents are protected by professionally staffed and well equipped facilities.

While the public delivery of the message from our senior clinical team was made in a most unusual manner, by public media conference, Sydenham District Hospital Board will review it at our next meeting on May 4th and take whatever steps are necessary to be taken.

Sydenham District Hospital Board continues to believe that all the residents of Chatham-Kent and all the residents of the Sydenham-Walpole-St. Clair District would be better served if the three Boards responsible for that care would meet and continue to provide the governance that is needed.

We express our strong support to our physicians, our nurses and our staffs for their professionalism and their dedication to duty as they continue to provide safe and quality healthcare for us all. We have confidence in their abilities and will continue to support them as best we can.”

Watch for more coverage.

– File photo: Sheldon Parsons, SDH board chair.


  1. Again I ask why do we have 3 boards when we only NOW have 2 hospitals PLEASE explain that to me and the rest of CK?

  2. This report really needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The respected members of this committee made a decision in a vacuum bubble constructed by the CEO of CKHA. They were hand fed information provided by a CEO who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of closing SDH ER. Stopping at nothing does include collusion and pressure placed on professionals to say and do what the CKHA CEO tells them to do. Also of note and interest is the clear reference to best serving Chatham-Kent. Does that mean that people not in Chatham-Kent don’t count in their equation? Are the First Nations People of Wapole Island once again being dismissed and not included in the decision making process?

  3. how many of those doctors that were talked to work or have worked in Wallaceburg…. again we the citizens of Wallaceburg and Walpole are a minority ….

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