Patrick Brown’s Open Letter To Kathleen Wynne About GBGH
Please see below the open letter from Simcoe North MPP and Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown to Premier Kathleen Wynne regarding the Georgian Bay General Hospital:
Dear Premier Wynne,
I am writing to you regarding the potential cuts to services at Georgian Bay General Hospital.
In December, an operational review of Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) resulted in 108 recommendations to help ensure a sustainable financial operating position within approved funding. Some of the most concerning recommendations included cutting Intensive Care Unit and medical beds, slashing surgeries to three days a week, and eliminating the obstetric unit. If implemented, these recommendations will have grave repercussions for the residents of the area that rely on the quality care that GBGH provides.
As MPP for Simcoe North, I have heard the shock and concern from residents, patients and employees over what these recommendations will mean for the delivery of quality health care services in the community.
Georgian Bay General Hospital serves a population base of 55,000, which grows to more than 200,000 six months of the year. This hospital is critical to the quality of life and well-being of my community of Simcoe North and its constituents.
In particular, cuts to the obstetric unit would mean that expectant mothers would have to travel to Barrie or Orillia, often leaving family members behind, or end up in the emergency department at GBGH to deliver their baby.
Looming cuts to services such as what we’re seeing at GBGH are not unknown to hospitals in small towns, rural and northern communities throughout Ontario. The reality is that your Liberal Government is making it increasingly difficult for hospitals to meet the health care needs of Ontarians.
Hospitals throughout the province are struggling with four years of frozen budgets, and as a result are being forced to slash services and lay-off frontline health care workers. This is in addition to your government slashing provincial health care funding by $54 million in the 2015 budget, an $815 million cut to physician services, and a $50 million cut to physiotherapy services for seniors.
The result is a serious threat to the ability of patients to access quality health care, now and in the coming years. This is unacceptable.
Simcoe County has already felt the effect of cuts to health care funding. Patients have seen their CCAC services reduced or cut altogether, and many are dreading the upcoming closure of the GBGH’s Penetanguishene site. Patients continue to languish on waitlists for surgeries and long-term care. What this community does not need is more cuts that will impact the quality of health care services they receive.
As MPP for Simcoe North, I urge your government to ensure long-term viability and funding to the GBGH and to the community it services. The health of the residents of Simcoe North and Simcoe County depends on it.
MPP, Simcoe North
Leader of the Official Opposition
CTV News Barrie: Conservative leader Brown calls proposed cuts at GBGH ‘atrocious’. Click below to watch.
Commentary By Doug Reed (Contributing Author):
Both Simcoe North’s MPP Patrick Brown and MP Bruce Stanton expressed their concerns regarding GBGH’s current cash crunch crisis. They both addressed the issue at a monthly meeting of supporters at Mom’s Restauraunt. Later, Brown was to meet with North Simcoe mayors at Mom’s and then host a meeting of medical types and the media at his new office on Midland Ave., to dig deeper into the subject. Brown expressed his concerns regarding GBGH hospital in particular and the plight of hospital financial short falls in general across Ontario. He felt it is essential Queen’s Park be constantly reminded by taxpayers of their concerns regarding how the Premier is treating the medical profession, how she seems to be putting medical care on the back burner and how hospitals constantly are required to fund raise for any new equipment while billions have gone down the drain thanks a number of ill-fated projects spearheaded by Grits in the Legislature.. Consensus was the need to keep the hospital’s cash crunch crisis alive in the media…..petition signings were one pro-active approach to continue to shine light on the dilemma…….others included the medical professional speaking out with one voice, councils expressing their alarm and the general public getting as involved as is humanly possible. Both Brown and Stanton said they both welcomed suggestions and comments in pledging their support in playing a role with others to sort this matter out.