|Issue 1||Friday February 7, 1997|
People fighting to keep hospitals open
MITCHELL -- The health care system has been dealing with major changes in the last year. Small rural communities across Ontario have been fighting to keep their hospitals open and medical staff employed.
District Health Councils have been set up to look at ways to make cuts to the health care system. This month many of those councils are announcing its ideas. A committee of the Huron-Perth District Health Council announced its recommendations January 27. Its report, "The Preferred Option", calls for keeping all eight hospitals in the two counties open. There will be some major changes though. The biggest change suggests having all eight hospitals run by one administrator and one board of directors. By having just one administrative team running all the hospitals, the committee hopes to save about $3.4 million.
Another $7 million will be saved by changing the way the way hospitals operate. The committee suggests having three different kinds of hospitals. The first type is a "Basic Hospital". These will be in Clinton, St. Mary's, Exeter, and Seaforth. People will get 24-hour emergency care and there will be beds for patients who need to stay overnight. The next type is a "Community Hospital". These hospitals will have the same as basic ones, but will also be able to do some surgery and deliver babies. Community hospitals are being proposed for Goderich, Listowel and Wingham.
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