Staffing should trump equipment at CKHA

Jul 31 • Letters to the EditorNo Comments on Staffing should trump equipment at CKHA

Sir: Re: Layoffs at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

Yes, again The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is in the news, this time for the recent round of layoffs and retirements that won’t be replaced. The reason is cost cutting because of, as I understand it, excessive spending in recent years past.

Of particular concern to me is the reduction in staff at the Chatham emergency department. I have had, at one time or another, to use this department with one wait as long as two hours personally. I have heard of others waiting up to six hours to get assistance.

Laying off or not replacing retired staff in this department is not in my opinion a good idea. There must be some other way to cut costs at our hospital, without cutting much needed staff?

I know it is probably a good thing to have all the current and state-of-the-art equipment such as a CT scan and MRI machine. State of the art, though, means big bucks to keep these equipment features in operation.

Perhaps it would be more prudent to keep staff on duty rather than expect the state-of-the-art equipment to be paid for by a shortage of much-needed nurses and other staff? Windsor and London all have this equipment.

When I was in need of serious surgery years ago, with assistance, I had to travel elsewhere. Even with the C-K Health Alliance current equipment, I have heard they still have to send people out of our city for further testing elsewhere.

When I have had to use special services in health care recently, I have also had to go out of town for that need.

As a smaller urban and rural centre, hit hard by a lot of unemployment, it seems that we cannot keep spending money on equipment that our population maybe need, but can’t really afford, at least for the current time.

I know the fundraisers for the C-K Health Alliance have tried every means to raise money for these tools to avoid these layoff situations. Still, I think that keeping on nursing staff is just as important as upgrading equipment at times when financing for this equipment may not be readily available.

Frank Doyle

Chatham

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