Gordon Hart wrote in “Pay attention to our ER situation, Dalton”, (Niagara This Week, Nov.7, 2008):
“Open letter to Dalton McGuinty:
You are surely aware that hundreds and hundreds of people in Port Colborne filled Lakeview Park a few weeks ago to protest the closing of the 24-hour emergency departments in Port Colborne and Fort Erie hospitals.
Thousands showed up at a protest parade in Fort Erie. Port Colborne and Fort Erie people have marched at Queen's Park, too, over these emergency department shutdowns.
Closing these emergency departments will put thousands of children, mothers and elderly people at great risk.
I am 85, and if I have to go to a hospital it's almost certainly going to be an emergency. People can't make an appointment to have a heart attack. They can't schedule a serious car accident at a convenient time to go to the emergency department. That's why they call them emergency departments.
How can your government allow such a callous decision go ahead?
Instead of 24-hour emergency services, in this area we could get something called 14-hour "prompt care" units for up to five years. After that we will get community health centres and outpatient clinics. Without emergency departments for five years, many people won't live to use community health centres.
Making people from Port Colborne travel to St. Catharines for emergency treatment is too risky. From my home to St. Catharines is 36 kilometres. Even the fastest ambulance driver, in good weather, will take half an hour to get me or my neighbour to St. Catharines. If there's no hospital space in St. Catharines, we're told we can go to Niagara Falls, which at least 40 minutes from Port Colborne.
What upsets me as much as losing emergency services my taxes pay for is the way it's being done.
The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network retained Dr. Jack Kitts from Ottawa to review the plan to close our emergency departments.
Dr. Kitts and his unelected members of the health integration network are the supreme rulers of health care in our community. We might as well not bother to elect a mayor, MPP or MP. Dr. Kitts and the bureaucrats will decide everything.
Let me tell you a story. As a 17-year-old at the outbreak of the Second World War, I shipped off with my friends to fight the Nazis. I was wounded twice overseas. The way people who no one elected are deciding the fate of our hospital's reminds me of what my buddies and I fought against in the war.
Look up the definition of Facism in a dictionary. It says fasicm is "a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator." That's what we have today in Port Colborne and Fort Erie. Facism was defeated in Europe, but it's creeping into Ontario. People with absolute power, health care dictators no one elected, are making life-and-death decisions. I know you are not that kind of leader. So I feel that writing to you personally will do some good."
Good luck with that, Sir... I've sent Liberal MPP, health-care hypocrite Jim Bradley many health care related letters; an ignorant Bradley - senior member of Ontario's ruling Liberal dictatorship - can't be bothered to respond.
It's been what, two weeks since Dr. Jack Kitts reported to the LHIN about the NHS'S HIP consolidation plan - but where's Jim Bradley's public response?!
It is Ontario's majority Liberals who 'decide everything'; who set the stage and pull all the strings behind the NHS: McGuinty's Liberals set the Health Ministry's budget, control the funding, appoint and fund the LHIN, direct the consolidations, collect the Health Tax, run the OHIP health insurance monopoly, and enforce their ridiculous no-patient-payer/provider-choice Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act.
This is beyond blaming apparatchiks ensconced in their cosy system; this is a pathology of failed Liberal political ideology.
I wrote in previous posts about the danger of re-electing the authoritarian McGuinty Liberals, whose stock-in-trade is practising their bait-and-switch tactic of Liberal Healthcare Duplicity.
There is an underlying Orwellian theme at work here: McGuinty's two-faced Liberals are cutting health care to ostensibly save it.