9/3/11

Might Niagara Supervisor get more bucks and a better plan for hospital?

The newly appointed Supervisor of the Niagara Health System hospital, Kevin Smith, told Niagara This Week that "nothing is off the table" including taking a hard look at hospital restructuring. Smith says his focus is on rebuilding trust and that the location of clinical services and loss of trust in the community are two of the biggest issues he must address.

The existing NHS hospital improvement plan called for a major changes in hospital services across the region, including the shut down of emergency departments in two local hospital sites and the closure of the maternity and pediatric wards in Welland and Niagara Falls.

The NHS has always refused to revise the restructuring plan and has stuck pretty closely to the government -- but Smith may be able to get some new cash and improve local services. After appointing a supervisor to run the hospital, the government will be forced to take more responsibility for securing an outcome acceptable to local communities. And that gives Smith (and Niagara) some leverage.

But how this might play out with the elections remains unclear. Smith, after all, was appointed by a Liberal government.

3 comments:

  1. My biggest concern is: Even if the NHS gets more funding, and they got over $25 million this past year, it will all go to the new hospital in west St. Catharines.

    My biggest complaint is: No matter what the funding or human resources; or lack thereof......that is no acceptable excuse to remove all acute and emergency hospital services from the southern tier of Niagara and move them to north Niagara, where the people of the south do not have timely and equitable access to these necessary services.

    Pat

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  2. They shut down two ER's and people say so what. They shut down ERs, operating rooms and all medical beds in effect converting the former H buildings into old age homes and left two communities without a Hospital. They left us the coffee shops too!

    Sue

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  3. The underlying problem is governance. Without a full investigation of the operations of the NHS and its Board, going back to the amalgamation in 2000, nothing will be accomplished. Kevin Smith, however excellent his credentials, is not going to have a broad enough mandate to effect any significant change. That would involve a total restructuring of hospital/healthcare services for Niagara -- after a comprehensive assessment involving Niagara's medical professionals, social services, local politicians, and, in particular, the residents. Does that sounds like something this government would welcome? Not in a million years.

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