Proposed closure at odds with provincial rhetoric on health care

January 8, 2015


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The Saugeen Times has received a copy of an internal memo from Paul Rosebush, President & CEO of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGH), to hospital staff and physicians setting out that there will be a public meeting regarding the proposed closure of the Restorative Care Unit in Chelsey.

There is no doubt that the proposed closure has raised the concerns of many throughout the region, some who have been treated at the unit and others who may have been caregivers or who know of those who have received care.

According to a 'self-assessment score at discharge', which is patients' scoring themselves and their outcomes,  during the first year, there was an average of 74% who claimed improvement in their self-assessment.  The Hospital was hoping for a 10% average.

At the outset of unit start-up, the average length of stay per patient was expected to be two to eight weeks.  It was 28 days.

Discharge is determined by the physician and a team made up of a physiotherapist occupational therapist, nurses, pharmacist, personal support workers and rehabilitation assistant.

The initiative is a collaboration between health care providers to integrate the care needed to support patients in their ability to remain safely in their own homes.

With the 'supposed' initiative by the Province and Ministry of Health to have more people recuperate or stay in their homes, it's incongruous that it would take away funding for a restorative facility that does, in fact, ensure patients return home sooner and, more importantly, healthier.

In addition, with an aging population, the unit has helped many seniors remain in their homes rather than having to go into nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which results in savings to the taxpayer.

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Perhaps, if funding is the issue, a reduction in the Local Integration Health Network (LHIN) staff could be made and the salaries funded into a facility that is integral to good health care on the front line.

Or, is this another instance of urban versus rural needs?

In the SBGH memo, Rosebush says that a public meeting has been arranged.  One would hope that the notice also goes out through the media to the public.

The matter was brought to the public's attention when a Saugeen Times reader wrote a letter on December 4th (2014) to the editor.  To read the letter,  Click Here .

According to the author, the same letter was also sent to Rosebush but he has not replied.

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Thursday, January 08, 2015