Emergency Room service at Southampton Hospital may be doomed.



Emergency Room service at Southampton Hospital may be doomed.

Saugeen Shores' Mayor Mike Smith spoke passionately about the ER at the recent Annual General Meeting of Southampton Resident's Association (SRA) held Saturday, July 25th and urged everyone to attend Tuesday's meeting at the Bayshore in Owen Sound. 

"If the ER closes, it will be the beginning of the end for the hospital," said Smith.

The possible closing of the ER stems from a variety of reasons: the supposed lack of locums [fill-in physicians] supplied by Healthforce, a medical 'job-bank'; the apparent refusal by some local physicians to schedule ER time; the lack of support by the Grey Bruce Health Services and the cost-cutting measures taking place throughout the health system.

Across the province, mass layoffs are being announced; services are being privatized, cut and/or centralized in hospitals far from patientsí homes; emergency rooms are being closed; and small and rural hospitals are under threat of closure.

Residents and many donors to the hospital recognize the value that the hospital plays in the community. The Southampton ER is, in fact, the second busiest in Bruce-Grey Counties, second only to the much larger Owen Sound emergency.

There are many instances of lives being saved because of the local hospital's emergency room.

One Southampton man, who recently suffered a heart attack, credits the ER with his survival. "I don't think I'd ever have made it to Owen Sound," he said.

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27/07/2009 12:13 AM


"One of the reasons we bought our house in Southampton," said Marie Cole, "was because it was right down the street from emergency services."

There should be a hue and cry going up about this from every corner of Saugeen Shores and, yet, there seems to be an apathy that is frightening.

One source who went through a similar situation in 2004, said that, if voices are not sounded loud and clear, the ER will quietly be closed and, once that happens, it is the beginning of the end for the hospital.

Anyone who has gone through a winter along the Huron Coast knows what happens when there is a blizzard ... the highways are closed. Without emergency services, the possibilities are bleak at best.

Anyone who does not want to see the Southampton Hospital Emergency Room close, or who at least is interested in finding out more, should plan on attending an all important LHINS meeting at the Bayshore in Owen Sound Tuesday night, July 28th at 7:00 p.m.

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