CORNWALL — Jeanette Despatie needs to stop hiding behind the Eastern Ontario Regional Lab Association and answer the community’s questions about the transfer of medical laboratory tests to Ottawa.
Despatie, the CEO of the Cornwall Community Hospital, was originally expected to appear before Cornwall’s City Council tonight to explain how the transfer in service reflects an improvement to local residents. The city donated $12 million towards the hospital’s redevelopment project under the understanding that services would improve. Despatie has refused to show up to answer questions from Cornwall’s elected representatives.
It begs the question: what has she got to hide?
Under the plan, tissue samples taken from patients in Cornwall would have to make the 212 kilometre round trip to Ottawa to be prepared and sent back again for analysis.
The hospital argues that the lengthy trip would somehow speed up service and improve quality, but no detail has been offered to back up those claims.
“How will the results be better?” asks OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, “when there was never any issue with the quality of slide preparation to begin with?”
The transfer of histology preparation to Ottawa also means the loss of four good paying local jobs.
Despatie has continually reminded the public that it is not the hospital, but EORLA making the decision.
The union says Despatie should be accountable given EORLA is owned by its member hospitals, including the Cornwall Community Hospital. Despatie also sits directly on the EORLA board.
“If Cornwall residents fail to stop this, it sends a clear message that the hospital is open to having its services further regionalized,” says Thomas.
Tonight’s rally takes place between 6-7 pm outside Cornwall’s City Hall on Pitt Street.
We would also urge you to show up to the hospital’s annual general meeting Thursday, June 19 at 7 pm to express your opposition to this plan.