LETTER: Crisis exists in rural health

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A recent trip to the Kings County Memorial Hospital reminded me of just how rural health services have declined in the 15 years since I’ve owned a home in Georgetown. Sitting in the waiting room for eight hours with my wife (who was suffering from the flu and pneumonia) and a large number of other Islanders who were suffering is nothing new. It is common and expected that if you don’t travel the 40 minutes to a walk-in clinic in Charlottetown, you are in for a day’s wait.

In contrast, 14 years ago when my father and I were doing some plumbing in the cramped basement of our old home, my father gashed his forehead quite badly, so badly that we made a trip to the KCMH. He had travelled from Ontario without his health card. He was treated quickly and efficiently, the KCMH staff called Ontario to retrieve my Dad’s health card number. The doctor put a few stitches in and we were out of there in about an hour.

I put no blame on the doctors, nurses or staff or the quality of care they are delivering - it is top-notch. I put the responsibility for this health care inequality on the Liberal government which has worked to centralize health care to Charlottetown and Summerside as a cost-savings measure. A measure that is instituted to the detriment and potential lives of rural Islanders. Nobody wants to talk about it, but there is a crisis in rural health care.

-- http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/letter-crisis-exists-in-rural-health-207135/ --

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