What is a community hospital?

Editorial/Health & Fitness


A community hospital has a profound influence on a community. Not only can it be a matter of life and death, literally, but it can also affect the entire growth of a community.

When a municipality is looking at options for growth, such as becoming a retirement haven, one of the first questions surrounding development and purchasing of property, is the requirement for a hospital and its services. For young families moving into an area, they too, want to know what the medical facilities and services are, especially when there are young children involved.

The issue surrounding the possible closure of the Southampton Memorial Hospital Emergency Room (ER) has become of great concern to residents of the community in only a matter of days. Residents, and many donors to the hospital recognize the value that the hospital plays in the community. The ER is, in fact, the second busiest in Bruce Grey Counties, second only to the much larger Owen Sound emergency.

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19/06/2009 10:15 PM


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 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.

According to one source, the town went through this kind of situation in 2004, but it was resolved. The source also said that, if voices are not sounded, the ER will quietly be closed and, once that happens, it is the beginning of the end for the hospital.

There are now some 15 doctors in Saugeen Shores, which has become the most successful municipality in Ontario when it comes to doctor recruitment. Given that the local ER requires approximately 240 night hours per month and there are 15 doctors, it would only mean a matter of 16 hours per month for each physician, or 4 hours per week.

To lose an ER for the matter of four hours a week for each physician would be tantamount to a crime in health care.

Like the words of a song ... "you don't know what you've got till it's gone ..."

Also See:

Health & Fitness   Is the worst yet to come?...

Health & Fitness CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services talks about possible cutbacks of ER services for Saugeen Memorial

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