EDITORIAL: An important fight

The fight is amping up.

It’s encouraging to see the Trenton community coming out of the woodwork to protect one of its most valued assets – its hospital. As the due date nears for Quinte Health Care to deliver a decision in terms of its funding shortfall, the community has risen to the challenge.

All one needs to do is look at the formation of Our TMH to see how deeply ingrained the hospital is to the way-of-life in Quinte West. A community’s strength is exposed in such situations and we’re seeing it in tandem in Quinte West.

The community is now planning a rally to show its support and send a message to Quinte Health Care to leave the hospital alone and now turn it into a first-aid station, a fear among many residents. Such rallies are always a good way to show support and discontent but the fight can’t stop there.

Mayor Jim Harrison is hoping to take his concerns past QHC and LHIN officials when he travels to Toronto for next week’s Ontario Good Roads convention. The mayor has requested a meetling with provincial health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins.

“This isn’t about politics, it’s about people,” Harrison said. “It’s about providing services to residents and our growing military community. We have a lot of construction going on. CFB Trenton continues to expand. We need a strong hospital with a 24/7 ER and other services.”

Harrison is right, mostly. It is about the people who rely on their hospital and its services, but it is about politics.

The mayor’s got the right idea, though. Taking his concerns to the health minister honestly isn’t likely going to help, but it certainly can’t hurt. Hoskins needs to hear the threat, hear the concern and hear the community’s unified voice. Harrison can be the needed messenger to get that message to him.

Health care is a sacred service in any community and we’ve seen examples in the local region in the past what can happen when those services are threatened. The current case is no different and the community and its leaders should do anything and everything to preserve those services or, at the very least, lessen the blow should the axe fall.

Best of luck to Harrison and let’s hope he not only gets Hoskins’ ear but that when he gets to bend it he finds it’s one that’s sympathetic.

Originally posted on trentonian.ca