Organizations place themselves above people


Sir: With each passing day since the announcement of the CKHA Capital Plan, which includes closing the Sydenham Campus ER, one by one groups in support of the plan have come forth to publically express their approval of the plan, which they know supports the closure of the Sydenham Campus ER.

First out of the gate were the PGH and SJH hospital boards. Next, the MAC Doctors paraded their full support for the closure of the Sydenham Campus ER.

Next, the CKHA sends out a statement which in the end sends a veiled threat to the LHIN that if they do not adopt the 66% supported plan inclusive of closing the Sydenham Campus ER then they, the LHIN, are going against their own vision of the future of health care.

Next up were the CK Community Health Centres and the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton-Kent along with the PGH and SJH Boards announcing their interlocked approach to secure capital investments for patients/clients across Chatham-Kent.

A clearer picture is developing with each new supporting announcement. Not one of these groups has indicated that they reached out to, canvassed or conducted a clearly worded survey of the over 20,000 residents who rely upon the availability and usage of the Sydenham Campus ER should they require emergency services for themselves or their families.

One would think that the inclusion of the end users’ thoughts on the subject might be of some importance, but it appears that may not be the case.

The prosperity of these organizations has the appearance that it is being placed ahead of the current and future needs of our Wallaceburg, Walpole Island and South Lambton’s residents needs in relation to emergency care.

I cannot understand how committees or organizations who claim they are working for us to better the delivery of health care can collectively ignore a community’s desire to keep a 24 hour, seven days a week emergency department within the Wallaceburg area.

The CK Community Health Centres and the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent are excellent organizations that should be exploring all possible partnerships, including what the Sydenham District Board is asking them to consider.

Instead these committees and organizations appear to support a vision that reduces access to emergency health care services in a timely fashion with the closure of the Sydenham Campus ER while apparently improving their organizations services to the public.

I hope it is not more important to some that the vision and the viability of their institutes/committees’ future within the health care service industry is secure and understand that taking a second look at options that do not require the closure of the Sydenham Campus ER is a good thing.

Doug Babbitt




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