Concerns taken to health minister

QUINTE WEST – The city and Our TMH took its fight to save Trenton Memorial Hospital directly to the province’s top health care official Tuesday.

Mayor Jim Harrison, along with a delegation of councillors and city officials, met with provincial Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins at the Ontario Good Roads convention in Toronto.

A delegation from Prince Edward County was also at the meeting.

Harrison said he came away from the 45-minute session feeling positive.

“The minster listened to our concerns, saying there have been no decisions made by the ministry or the LHIN,” said Harrison. “He wants to make sure the public is involved and what we can do to make TMH a good, functioning hospital. He’s asking us to think outside the box.”

Speculation continues to swirl around the future of the hospital and the undisclosed plans Quinte Health Care has for the embattled community institution. Our TMH officials fear Quinte Health Care will announce in April the ER at TMH will be relegated to an urgent care facility.

Other unconfirmed reports have surfaced the same day surgery component at TMH will be shut down and moved to Belleville in three years.

Within the same time frame there is speculation the active treatment beds at TMH will be moved to BGH. Those beds would be converted to what are referred to as nursing home ready beds, similar in function to the old 2C wing at TMH.

Harrison said he didn’t go into those details with the minister.

“I tried to stay positive. Those things are only speculation, and as I said, Dr. Hoskins told us no plans have been made. He realizes the need and importance of small hospitals,” said Harrison. “We aren’t here to fight but to work together towards a solution.”

Harrison said he did emphasize the continued expansion of CFB Trenton resulting in a growing military community, an aging civilian population and residential growth makes TMH a special case.

“He (Hoskins) understands that,” said the mayor.

City council is expected to declare the week of Mar. 2 to Mar 8 as Our TMH Week. It will culminate with a March 7 rally at Trenton High School starting at 1 p.m.

More than 1,000 posters will be distributed starting Wednesday. Residents are being asked to wear Our TMH buttons, tie red ribbons on mailboxes and trees, and erect placards on front lawns.

Meanwhile, Our TMH is looking for cash donations to help offset costs of buttons, posters and other expenses.

Lorraine Power O’Quinn, chairwoman of the Our TMH strategic committee, launched a Go Fund Me site earlier this week. The minimum donation is $5. To make a donation visit gofundme.com/mzyejo

Our TMH will be launching its website Wednesday.

ernst.kuglin@sunmedia.ca

Originally posted on trentonian.ca

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