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Letter: What other cuts are looming at HSN, reader ponders

Will our children's hospital suffer a similar fate as breast screening clinic?
Health Sciences North. (Supplied)

I was very shocked to read that there are plans to either cut the breast screening program, or reduce its measure of service.

This comes after the shock of reading about the top heavy executive employees at HSN whose salaries totalled around the $1 million mark, and very glad to find that finally some of the unnecessary executive positions had been cut.

I really had hopes that HSN was turning its financial waste around and hoping that services would improve.

Now I read that the breast screening program is being cut, and at the same time, we are being bombarded with all sorts of articles about the planned children’s hospital for the north, to be located on the same grounds as HSN.

I remember the big rush around the beginning of the '80s, urging people to donate to the new hospital being planned. How it was going to be state of the art and would serve Northern Ontario, so people would no longer have to travel south for some of the specialized treatments.

I remember the wall designated for names to be added for each of the donors, and how we were constantly bombarded with promises and all the exciting plans for this wonderful dream hospital.
Well, we got the hospital, and in the aftermath, the other two hospitals were eventually closed, leaving no alternative for any overflow.

Now, we have a hospital that can’t accommodate all the patients, and they are lying on beds in open hallways with only a screen around them (if they are lucky), and people being released and sent home days before they should be, due to lack of space.

I have heard horror stories of some of the crass treatment of people I know personally, and of some nurses being cruel and crass to patients. It might be that they are overworked and dealing with the lack of supplies and cuts to the nursing staff, enabling them to do their jobs efficiently. 

I don’t really know.

But HSN certainly hasn’t turned out to be the dream hospital that was touted and promised back when they were actively looking for donations from the public.

Now we hear of a new children’s unit being planned and all kinds of donation schemes and plans to get it built. Thus, I believe, cutting the breast screening program is probably only one of the cuts we will be seeing as the months and years go by.

Will we end up with a children’s hospital that should have been state of the art, or will there be another institution with not enough money or beds to accommodate the needs?

I’m afraid to say it’s quite possible.

Mary Lou Flood