Health & Fitness/Editorial So you think we can get to Owen Sound, eh? 

Health & Fitness/Editorial

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The weather over the past few days has given pause to anyone who has followed the ongoing debate about downgrading and closing emergency service in small hospitals and using a central site such as Owen Sound, instead.

It would be interesting to have a high official here over the last few days, if that person ever considered a cost cutting measure about emergency hour curtailment.  We know it's a difficult problem, but do they understand the consequences?

Over the past week or so we have been to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital a number of times.  Some of the visits were to help friends in an emergency and these were stroke patients, who were forwarded on to Owen Sound for treatment.   The weather was ok and the roads passable. 

The last few days have been different and we see more friends being stabilized locally and not transported over closed roads to Owen Sound.  We can't get from Southampton to Port Elgin or anywhere on the Bruce for that matter.  Getting treatment locally is the only option and we are not talking about  minor things like a tickle in the throat.  These were medical emergencies nicely handled at Saugeen Memorial.

Also, the hidden part of this remote care is the volunteer network, who take friends to Owen Sound for treatment and further still to London.  This goes on all the time for seniors and it's understandable and works well.  These visits are to consult with specialists, but they too are impossible in weather like we've had lately.  Dangerous does not describe them adequately.

Is the weather unusual?  No, it isn't at all for Bruce County winters.  Of course you can always take these issues to the numbers and show over the year that taking patients via ambulance to Owen Sound is effective, but this ignores what everyone knows.  It's impossible in weather like this and everyone who lives here can attest to that as a fact.

Since the Saugeen and Kincardine Times always keep their stories and videos, it might be good to show the people in the future, who want to shut down the emergency ward at night the facts.  See the video above for example and it's during the day!   We have lots more as you can see by going to our Video Section

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010