CORNWALL – Residents and laboratory staff at the Cornwall Community Hospital marched outside of city hall last night to try and save local histology services in the St. Lawrence Seaway community.
The Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association is cutting four laboratory jobs in Cornwall and sending tissue samples to Ottawa to be prepared and then sent back to Cornwall for analysis. That’s a round trip of 212 kilometers.
Noting the hospital’s claims that the round trip will somehow speed up the process, OPSEU Local 475 President Richard Meagher says “EORLA must have some very fast drivers. We hope the OPP is taking note.”
The union is arguing the cuts are motivated by money, not by service quality.
Meagher questions the claims made by EORLA President Craig Ivany that preparing the tissue slides in Ottawa would be “better.”
“How so?” asks Meagher. “Is EORLA now saying there is a problem with the slide preparation here in Cornwall?”
The protesters were greeted last night by a number of Cornwall City Counsellors, including provincial NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald.
Council later decided to seek legal opinion on an injunction to stop the transfer of histology lab services out of the city. They continue to ask for a briefing by hospital CEO Jeanette Despatie. Despatie has to-date refused to meet with the Council.