Last week’s media conference to place a medical stamp of approval on Colin Patey’s plan to close the Sydenham District Hospital emergency department raised as many questions as it answered.
Doctors showed up and took their turn supporting their bosses’ plan on a “clinical facts” only basis.
The event then took a turn for the strange.
Dr. Indraneel Ghosh, chief of emergency medicine, said a number of new trainee doctors and even senior physicians will not work in the ER at SDH, “because they feel it is unsafe.”
This is the same Dr. Ghosh whose department has no problems sending patients to SDH when the Chatham campus is unable to cope with its workload.
If he’s serious, his comments should require a Ministry of Labour investigation, as in any case of unsafe conditions for workers or patients.
If he isn’t, he engaged in a most extreme and inappropriate form of hyperbole.
Dr. Ghosh’s statement is a slap in the face of every medical professional working at the Sydenham ER.
It makes a mockery of the former Alliance’s stated values of respect, teamwork and trust.
If the SDH emergency room is unsafe, where does the responsibility lie?
Has there been an ongoing stripping of resources or lack of investment to make it so?
Has administration failed to provide proper training for staff?
Dr. Ghosh was handpicked by administration to lead the ER into the next era. He has the necessary medical credentials.
He’s also a part-time employee; still listed as working in the ER at Mackenzie Health in Richmond Hill.
There is concern his appointment reflects a possibility no local doctors shared the vision of a part-time walk in clinic to replace the Wallaceburg campus.
We have no way of knowing the truth from an independent source.
It’s past time the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network or the provincial health ministry step in.
Governance of the former CKHA is in shambles, and its plans seem at odds with thousands of residents and ER practices elsewhere in Ontario.
It has claimed the LHIN and Ministry of Health have seen its closure plans, while Minister of Health Eric Hoskins said neither the LHIN nor the ministry have received it.
Hoskins personally said there are “no plans whatsoever” to close the SDH emergency department.
This type of confusion denigrates the work of front-line employees at the Wallaceburg and Chatham campuses.
The community deserves answers it can trust from an independent source.