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Brown says if PCs were in power, Kincardine would have funding for a new hospital

By: Liz Dadson
July 6, 2015

If the Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) party were in power, Kincardine would be allocated sufficient funding for a new hospital.

That's the word from leader Patrick Brown.

He arrived at the hospital Monday afternoon with Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, to get a first-hand look at the deficiencies and the great loss Kincardine suffered when it was promised a new hospital in 2011, only to have that project snatched away when Thompson defeated Liberal MPP Carol Mitchell in the provincial election.

Brown said partisan politics has no place in health care, particularly rural health care.
Ontario PC Party leader Patrick Brown (L) with Allen Wickert, chairman of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre board
"The Liberal government has cut $54-million from the health care budget this year," he said, adding that the Liberals' mangling of the economy has seen the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs, and the result has been cuts to health and education.

"This hospital needs government support," said Brown. "It's unfortunate that your promise of a new hospital was broken under those conditions."

When asked what he can do to help Kincardine, Brown said the next provincial election is in two years and 11 months. "If we were in power, we would allocate the funding."

Meanwhile, he said the Liberal provincial government reacts to scandal. "I would highlight this (broken promise of a new hospital in Kincardine) as one of those scandals. Why shouldn't the people of Kincardine have the same services as Toronto or Windsor?"

Brown added that the "squeaky wheel" gets the grease, and Thompson refuses to stop talking about this issue. "If there is enough talk about it, maybe the government will do something about it."

He said the hospital administrator (South Bruce Grey Health Centre president and chief executive officer Paul Rosebush) is doing an admirable job, meeting the fiscal challenges and offering options for upgrading and renovating the hospital - what is being called Plan B.

When asked again what can be done now to help the Kincardine hospital, Thompson said the community and its representatives can do something similar to what was done to save the Restorative Care Unit in Chesley.

"We needed that service to continue, so my colleagues and I, and Paul Rosebush, chipped away at the wall that had been put up by the (health) ministry," she said. "Then, suddenly, the ministry provided $400,000 to maintain the unit to the end of this year."

Brown echoed that, urging everyone in the community to put the pressure on the government to act.

"I've been trying to get the health minister or his policy advisors or caucus colleagues to come out here and see the Kincardine hospital first-hand," said Thompson.

"The Liberals are diminishing health care," said Brown. "They are firing nurses, closing emergency rooms. They have a spending problem and the result is huge cuts to health and education - the last place they should be cutting."

Prior to their visit to the Kincardine hospital, Thompson and Brown toured the Bruce Nuclear site. Following the hospital tour, they were slated to stop at the Armow Wind project, and then travel to Lucknow.

When asked about the visit by the PC party leader, Rosebush said any attention to the problems at the Kincardine hospital is good. "There is government money available every year, and we want it," he said.

"We need it," added Allen Wickert, new chairman of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre hospital board which operates hospitals in Kincardine, Walkerton, Durham and Chesley.

Paul Rosebush (L), president and chief executive officer of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre, welcomes Ontario PC Party leader Patrick Brown and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson to the Kincardine hospital, Monday afternoon; with them, are Allen Wickert, health centre board chairman; and Kincardine mayor Anne Eadie


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