Which do we need more?

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Dialysis machineThink about all the many and varied kinds of equipment a hospital relies on to provide modern, efficient patient care today. It’s the sort of equipment we want – we NEED – our own hospital to have to provide us and our visitors with the best treatment possible, so none of us have to leave the region to get that care.

Try to imagine all the types of lifesaving and diagnosis equipment that we should have – not only new items, but replacement devices for when machines need service or repair. You can search online for information about hospital inventories and make your own list. But here are some ideas…

You would likely include devices like a dialysis machine, or modern diagnosis equipment like a CAT scanner. Or an ECG machine. A spirometer. A nebuliser. Vacuum autoclaves. Surgery couches. Examination lights. Ophthalmoscopes. Otoscopes. Oximeters, cauterizers, dopplers., ultrasound scanners. Ambulatory blood pressure monitors. EKG machines. Anesthesia machines, sterilizers, defibrillators, patient monitors, surgical lights, beds, X-Ray processors and viewers, gastroscopes, colonscopes, ventilators, pulsoximeter, oxygen concentrator, gynecology couch, delivery beds, fetal monitors, uterine aspiration kit, microscopes, blood analyzers, centrifuges…

And this is just a cursory sample. A modern hospital needs a huge array of equipment today. Every item is something someone will need, sometimes simply to survive.

Pile of reportsNow ask yourself, which does the hospital need more? Any of these devices, tools or machines – or a pile of paper? Which will best serve the needs of providing patient care? Which will save lives?

You see, the Block on Collingwood Council, and the town’s administration, don’t want the hospital to redevelop on the preferred site, a mere two-minute drive from the current site. And to make that location more difficult, this group have thrown up bureaucratic roadblocks and procedural hurdles. Delaying tactics. One of those is to demand more reports. More paperwork. Mostly unnecessary work for outside consultants, but costly stuff. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. And they want the hospital to pay for them.

Every hospital runs on a razor-thin budget. Many run deficits. They have no spare money for political games. So where would our hospital get the money if The Block demands they must produce and pay for these reports? From the funds you and others in our community have donated to the Foundation to purchase equipment.

So which would you rather have, which would you rather spend your donations on: medical equipment we need, that may be necessary to save lives, or a stack of paper?

And when the hospital protests, and offers alternatives, options and ideas, when the public shows up in the council chambers to support the hospital, The Block recoils in horror and cries they’re being bullied. But the town could easily include all those reports or requested information in its own Official Plan review – which by law it has to undertake this year, and has already been budgeted for.

I’m sure, you dear reader, can see through this. I’m sure you, too, know which is the real priority for your donations. Which do we need most?

Collingwood deserves better. So does the hospital.

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