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Rally a ‘critical’ point

Posted: November 4, 2015

(November 4, 2015)

By: Ernst Kuglin, The Intelligencer/Trentonian

ERNST KUGLIN/THE INTELLIGENCER Officials with Our TMH and Ontario Health Coalition are putting the final touches on the Nov. 13 Centennial Park rally to protest health care cuts and service restructuring. The rally starts at noon and goes to 2 p.m. organizers are expecting between 1,000 and 2,000 people.

QUINTE WEST –  Next week’s rally in Trenton is being described as a critical turning point for Our TMH and its effort to yank the beleaguered hospital from Quinte Health Care.
Anger over hospital cutbacks continues to build in the community in the lead-up to the Nov. 13 rally organized by the Ontario Health Coalition.
Advocacy group members are venting that anger at QHC and now the provincial government’s controversial funding formula and resulting restructuring of hospitals across the province.
Organizers expect a crowd of between 1,000 and 2,000 at Trenton’s Centennial Park next Friday.
Officials with Our TMH are all but accusing QHC executives of misleading the public with claims Trenton Memorial won’t close.
“As much as they are denying it, they are working to get rid of the hospital. QHC has broken the hospital. They won’t fix their mistakes. It’s time to take the hospital back,” said an angry Our TMH co-chairman, Mike Cowan.
Earlier this week, Quinte West city council fired off a resolution to the provincial government and neighbouring municipalities saying it supports the Our TMH move to create a community-owned and operated hospital, separate from the QHC.
The city’s chamber of commerce also penned what’s been described as a “scathing” letter to QHC board chairwoman Trish Anderson.
Our TMH intends to keep hammering away at QHC, while securing more public support.
“There’s been no attempt by QHC in the last 10 to 15 years to make TMH a sustainable community hospital, to make the hospital better. The QHC has been a bad manager of health care service delivery in our city. If anyone should fall on the sword, it’s the QHC,” said Cowan.
Director Garry Quinn said Our TMH has been successful in getting the public’s attention and the attention of federal and provincial politicians.
“We’ve also got the attention of QHC, good or bad, but it’s time for us to keep up the pressure and put our feet to the fire,” said Quinn.
On the heels of Wednesday’s federal cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, Coun. Dunc Armstrong said it’s time Our TMH took the “fight to the top” echelons at the new federal government.
Our TMH met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the federal election campaign where members pitched the idea of opening a veteran’s care wing at TMH.
“With the new government now in place, it’s imperative we contact Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan to emphasize the importance of  providing full blown health care services for our Armed Forces personnel and their dependents in Quinte West,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong said local health services are “essential” given the fact CFB Trenton continues to expand, and will be home to Joint Task Force 2.
Kent Hehr was named Veteran’s Affairs Minister.
“It’s time to start booking appointments with the new ministers,” said Jim Leonard.
ernst.kuglin@sunmedia.ca

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