KAWARTHA LAKES-The Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition (KLHC)is holding an emergency meeting on the future governance of Ross Memorial Hospital.
The group says the meeting was prompted by a new law that could change the membership and governance of Ross Memorial Hospital if it passes. Local MPP Laurie Scott has introduced the new bill in the Ontario Legislature and it is currently in process according to the group.
“We need to move swiftly.” says KLHC “The hospital tried to pass a version of the new law a couple of years ago but it was not successful in getting it through. It has come back again and our fear is that it will be rushed through before the Legislature ends this session for the provincial election. That could happen as early as next week.”
According to the coalition, the new law, which is written specifically for Ross Memorial Hospital will eradicate all community memberships in the hospital, leaving the board members as the only members, who then elect themselves. If passed, Kawartha Lakes would lose its elected hospital board and end up with a self-appointing board according to the coalition.
“We specifically requested that this provision be removed from the draft law. We also asked that the hospital amend the law to specify that they would continue to provide acute care services in the hospital. While they made a couple of changes, in response to what we asked, to make the law better than the previous version, they have now brought forward another version new law without heeding our requests on these two matters. We think they are vital and we think you would agree.”
In 2019 hospital executives drafted the original version of the new law and were working at that time to have it passed in the legislature and some of their suggestions were taken into account. Among the key issues we raised: the new law wiped out all community memberships and the elected board; it enabled them to close the hospital; it gave broad powers to the hospital board to make fundamental changes without having to go back to the legislature to get them passed, and it allowed them to close all acute care services.
“Together we have moved them to improve the law, but these two major problems — that they will wipe out all members and the elected board and that they can close all acute care services — remain.” says the group.
We contacted MPP Laurie Scott’s office on Saturday for more information but have not had a response as of publication.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday April 26th at 7pm on zoom and on their Facebook page.
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