LHIN says ER closure claims aren’t true

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

It’s a claim that could have long-lasting ramifications to local health care.

Michael Hurley, the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, claims to have seen a secret report by the Southeastern LHIN which calls for the closures of Emergency Rooms at hospitals in Picton, Bancroft and Trenton.

A claim that caught even local CUPE representatives by surprise.

Mike Rodrigues: “As far as we were concerned, absolutely. In every meeting we had there was no mention of closures whatsoever.”

But that could be because the report isn’t true, according to the Southeast LHIN, the health organization that CUPE claims to have authored the report.

Sherry Kennedy: “It’s quite possible that people have considered some analysis that is done in the normal course of our planning as something more informed and as an actual decision.”

The Local Health Network, which holds the hospital pursue strings, acknowledges various cost cutting scenarios have been discussed, but insisted the outright closure of 3 of the 4 ER’s managed by Quinte Health Care remains far fetched.

Sherri Kennedy: “(Paul: So for residents in Picton, Prince Edward County, Trenton and Bancroft – should have no concern over losing their ER services?) No, none. There is no plan for that.”

Not only have the CUPE claims caught the southeast LHIN off guard, but also board members at Quinte Health Care and members of the ‘OurTMH’ group – a group dedicated to ensuring quality care at Trenton Memorial Hospital which doesn’t actually employ any CUPE members.

The two groups were made aware of the news release while meeting with one another to discuss ways to improve care at Trenton Memorial.

They’re both upset that CUPE would float false information.

Michael Cowan/ Our Trenton Memorial Hospital: “There’s no truth to it at this point.
I’m not even sure why he sent it.”

Tricia Anderson/ Quinte Health Care: “I’m concerned for our staff, and our communities, and how they might read this release. It couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s nothing happening at our emergency rooms with respect to closures or minimizing staffing.”

Still – CUPE is calling for the Minister of Health to release the entire report.

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