City revving up for battle with Hamilton Health Sciences over $1.5 million

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton councillors are gearing up for a battle with Hamilton Health Sciences over $1.5 million.

Politicians approved a motion last week asking HHS officials and representatives from the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to pay the extra cost the city will incur when HHS closes the adult emergency department at McMaster University medical Centre.

“We have to make up (the money) somehow,” said Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie.

An independent study conducted for the city’s emergency services revealed last March it could cost Hamilton about $1.5 million in additional ambulance costs if the HHS fulfills its goal to close the adult emergency centre and relocate it to downtown Hamilton.

Some councillors, though, continue to criticize HHS’s plan, saying the board has yet to detail when the emergency centre will close, and when the new Urgent Care Centre in the west end will open.

“There has been a closed-room consultation process,” said Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead.

“We can’t have decisions made in the dark. They owe us an explanation.”

Flamborough Councillor Robert Pasuta remained concerned about the closure, saying it will take longer for ambulances to transport patients from the large rural area to a hospital in downtown Hamilton rather than McMaster.

Relocating the adult emergency centre from McMaster to Hamilton General is part of HHS Access To Best Care plan introduced in January 2008 for redeveloping the city’s health care. Under the plan Hamilton General will focus on cardio and trauma care, Henderson cancer care and McMaster children’s medicine.

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark, a former Ontario cabinet minister, remained skeptical about council yet again meeting with HHS officials demanding answers. He said the city has no authority over the HHS or what it does.

“It’s not the best way to make friends,” said Mr. Clark.

He urged councillors to include LHIN officials, who make the financial decisions for hospital redevelopment.

“The body that should be held accountable is the LHIN,” he said.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger didn’t believe calling on HHS representatives onto council’s carpet again would resolve anything.

“Having them come here, I don’t think it is fruitful,” he said.

HHS representatives appeared before councillors earlier this year and received a grilling from councillors opposed to the relocation of the emergency medical centre.

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who is a member of the HHS board of directors, said the redevelopment of Hamilton’s hospital strategy is well underway and on schedule. The province has already committed about $600 million to Hamilton’s redevelopment projects.

“This is a bingo-bango-bongo scenario,” he said.

He said the Henderson and Hamilton General hospitals have to be expanded first before any action is taken with the emergency room at Mac.

“Every time there is change, there is angst,” he said.

He pointed out McMaster University is already the number two hospital in the province servicing children behind Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.

Mr. Ferguson, though, did say the board would consider looking at the city’s $1.5 million extra expenses.

It is not clear when LHIN or HHS officials will be attending a council meeting.

Mr. Whitehead encouraged residents upset with the LHIN to attend one of its open houses. One of the last open houses is scheduled for Oct. 29 at Winona Vine Estates, 269 Glover Road starting at 3 p. m. to 8 p. m.

City revving up for battle with Hamilton Health Sciences over $1.5 million

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton councillors are gearing up for a battle with Hamilton Health Sciences over $1.5 million.

Politicians approved a motion last week asking HHS officials and representatives from the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to pay the extra cost the city will incur when HHS closes the adult emergency department at McMaster University medical Centre.

“We have to make up (the money) somehow,” said Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie.

An independent study conducted for the city’s emergency services revealed last March it could cost Hamilton about $1.5 million in additional ambulance costs if the HHS fulfills its goal to close the adult emergency centre and relocate it to downtown Hamilton.

Some councillors, though, continue to criticize HHS’s plan, saying the board has yet to detail when the emergency centre will close, and when the new Urgent Care Centre in the west end will open.

“There has been a closed-room consultation process,” said Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead.

“We can’t have decisions made in the dark. They owe us an explanation.”

Flamborough Councillor Robert Pasuta remained concerned about the closure, saying it will take longer for ambulances to transport patients from the large rural area to a hospital in downtown Hamilton rather than McMaster.

Relocating the adult emergency centre from McMaster to Hamilton General is part of HHS Access To Best Care plan introduced in January 2008 for redeveloping the city’s health care. Under the plan Hamilton General will focus on cardio and trauma care, Henderson cancer care and McMaster children’s medicine.

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark, a former Ontario cabinet minister, remained skeptical about council yet again meeting with HHS officials demanding answers. He said the city has no authority over the HHS or what it does.

“It’s not the best way to make friends,” said Mr. Clark.

He urged councillors to include LHIN officials, who make the financial decisions for hospital redevelopment.

“The body that should be held accountable is the LHIN,” he said.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger didn’t believe calling on HHS representatives onto council’s carpet again would resolve anything.

“Having them come here, I don’t think it is fruitful,” he said.

HHS representatives appeared before councillors earlier this year and received a grilling from councillors opposed to the relocation of the emergency medical centre.

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who is a member of the HHS board of directors, said the redevelopment of Hamilton’s hospital strategy is well underway and on schedule. The province has already committed about $600 million to Hamilton’s redevelopment projects.

“This is a bingo-bango-bongo scenario,” he said.

He said the Henderson and Hamilton General hospitals have to be expanded first before any action is taken with the emergency room at Mac.

“Every time there is change, there is angst,” he said.

He pointed out McMaster University is already the number two hospital in the province servicing children behind Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.

Mr. Ferguson, though, did say the board would consider looking at the city’s $1.5 million extra expenses.

It is not clear when LHIN or HHS officials will be attending a council meeting.

Mr. Whitehead encouraged residents upset with the LHIN to attend one of its open houses. One of the last open houses is scheduled for Oct. 29 at Winona Vine Estates, 269 Glover Road starting at 3 p. m. to 8 p. m.

City revving up for battle with Hamilton Health Sciences over $1.5 million

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton councillors are gearing up for a battle with Hamilton Health Sciences over $1.5 million.

Politicians approved a motion last week asking HHS officials and representatives from the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to pay the extra cost the city will incur when HHS closes the adult emergency department at McMaster University medical Centre.

“We have to make up (the money) somehow,” said Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie.

An independent study conducted for the city’s emergency services revealed last March it could cost Hamilton about $1.5 million in additional ambulance costs if the HHS fulfills its goal to close the adult emergency centre and relocate it to downtown Hamilton.

Some councillors, though, continue to criticize HHS’s plan, saying the board has yet to detail when the emergency centre will close, and when the new Urgent Care Centre in the west end will open.

“There has been a closed-room consultation process,” said Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead.

“We can’t have decisions made in the dark. They owe us an explanation.”

Flamborough Councillor Robert Pasuta remained concerned about the closure, saying it will take longer for ambulances to transport patients from the large rural area to a hospital in downtown Hamilton rather than McMaster.

Relocating the adult emergency centre from McMaster to Hamilton General is part of HHS Access To Best Care plan introduced in January 2008 for redeveloping the city’s health care. Under the plan Hamilton General will focus on cardio and trauma care, Henderson cancer care and McMaster children’s medicine.

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark, a former Ontario cabinet minister, remained skeptical about council yet again meeting with HHS officials demanding answers. He said the city has no authority over the HHS or what it does.

“It’s not the best way to make friends,” said Mr. Clark.

He urged councillors to include LHIN officials, who make the financial decisions for hospital redevelopment.

“The body that should be held accountable is the LHIN,” he said.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger didn’t believe calling on HHS representatives onto council’s carpet again would resolve anything.

“Having them come here, I don’t think it is fruitful,” he said.

HHS representatives appeared before councillors earlier this year and received a grilling from councillors opposed to the relocation of the emergency medical centre.

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who is a member of the HHS board of directors, said the redevelopment of Hamilton’s hospital strategy is well underway and on schedule. The province has already committed about $600 million to Hamilton’s redevelopment projects.

“This is a bingo-bango-bongo scenario,” he said.

He said the Henderson and Hamilton General hospitals have to be expanded first before any action is taken with the emergency room at Mac.

“Every time there is change, there is angst,” he said.

He pointed out McMaster University is already the number two hospital in the province servicing children behind Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.

Mr. Ferguson, though, did say the board would consider looking at the city’s $1.5 million extra expenses.

It is not clear when LHIN or HHS officials will be attending a council meeting.

Mr. Whitehead encouraged residents upset with the LHIN to attend one of its open houses. One of the last open houses is scheduled for Oct. 29 at Winona Vine Estates, 269 Glover Road starting at 3 p. m. to 8 p. m.