Thursday, November 5, 2009

St.Catharines hospital 'basically sent patient away to die'; will Liberal MPP Jim Bradley comment?

Niagara This Week (Nov.6, 2009) had this letter, "Stop interfering with our hospital":

"Open Letter to the Directors of the Hamilton-Niagara Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)

Please refrain from further interference with the building plans for our new hospital. The plans for the new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) have been in the works for many years. The community has raised many millions of dollars to support the project. A recent consultant’s report shows our hospital is in the top 3 per cent in efficiency in Ontario. This means the ratio of services provided by our hospital for dollars spent is exceptional. That is a result of good planning and good management.

Why mess with something that works well and is at the top of the class? Wouldn’t you be better off spending your time and efforts on hospitals which are failing the grade? We, the taxpayers, want good value for our tax dollar and in that regard our hospital has an exceptional and proven track record.

There is talk about diminishing the services of our hospital and perhaps even cancelling the new hospital in favour of a new Centre for Excellence in west St. Catharines. Please allow me to caution you about sacrificing the proven efficient services we have in Grimsby for “theoretical” services some distance away. I say theoretical because it is all on paper. We don’t know if the plans for St. Catharines will work and whether any centre there will be well managed.

Efficient health care depends on management quality. Some things may look great on paper but end up failing due to poor management. There are plenty of examples of huge wastes of taxpayer funds due to poor management. The gun registry and the latest eHealth fiasco are two of them. We have proven hospital management here in Grimsby with a stellar track record. That means a lot and shouldn’t be sacrificed at the altar of a plan in another city which may or may not deliver the same efficiency or medical service we presently enjoy.

This is not just a faceless bureaucratic decision to be taken lightly. Lives are at stake. Poor management almost killed my father at the St. Catharines General Hospital. A few years ago he kept passing out and was delivered by ambulance to the emergency department. They kept him overnight for observation and tests, which showed he had a serious heart problem combined with blocked carotid arteries.

In the morning we found him sitting in the waiting room. He told us he’d been discharged and was advised not to drive or live alone. The bathroom he had to use was filthy with puddles of urine and God knows what on the floor. There was no toilet paper, nor were there any paper towels. The excuse for his discharge was their vascular surgeon had recently moved away and no other hospitals were accepting patient transfers. They had basically sent him away to die. By anyone’s standards, the disgusting bathroom and unbelievable discharge procedure was bad management. No one even bothered to call his family! He was confused, periodically passing out, and incredibly left to fend for himself in the waiting room.

On the way home, my dad passed out again so I drove him right to the Hamilton General Hospital. There he received much needed carotid artery surgery and a heart bypass surgery. He is alive today because of my decision to take him to a hospital with competent management and competent services. Had we depended on management at the St. Catharines General Hospital, I am convinced he would not be alive today. We are fortunate his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren can continue to enjoy his presence and love.

Lives hang in the balance of your decisions. Please do not sacrifice proven efficient and much needed medical services in Grimsby for some plans on paper elsewhere which may or may not come to fruition, may or may not be an efficient use of our tax dollars and may or may not be well managed.

Micheal Hahn
Grimsby "

So, what does McGuinty's Liberal health-monopoly minister Deb Matthews - the LHIN's boss - have to say?

What does St. Catharines Liberal monopolist MPP Jim Bradley have to say, especially regarding Hahn's claims about the conditions and management "a few years ago" at the state-monopoly hospital in Bradley's own city?

Any response from the Liberal politicians...?


Jimmy...? Dalton...? ...hello...?

Isn't Hahn just spouting, oh... what do Liberals like to call it...? oh yeah: ANOMALIES?!!!!!!

You know: these things hardly ever happen - right Jim?! Just blown out of proportion; just a minor oversight...

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