It looks like change is in the wind for West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, as it may lose its surgical and obstetrics departments at least for now until massive upgrades are completed to the tune of millions of dollars.

 

It’s reported that on Monday, Hamilton Health Sciences sent out a memo to staff at West Lincoln that implied the current surgical department needed big upgrades that would cost millions ($8.6), it would not pass accreditation the way it currently is for next year, and moving forward the funding and renos will shut the departments down for over 2 years.

Former Chief of Staff Dr.Gary Benson resigned after Hamilton Health Sciences announced the plan to move some surgical services out of Grimsby and called it a fatal blow.

With the future of the two departments at the hospital up in the air, a community meeting was planned and held last night at Trinity Community Church in Grimsby where a huge crowd showed up and voiced their concerns about the issues at hand.  Top of mind is that if the departments are lost now they will likely not come back.

An excerpt from the concerned citizens Facebook Page:

Dear Niagara West Community Members:

It seems we have a small window of time to influence Hamilton Health Sciences –specifically their Board, who will vote on this management decision to cancel our surgical and obstetric programs at their next board meeting December 6. Without surgery and obstetrics, there will be no anesthesia meaning no ICU and no ER and thus..no acute care hospital. HHS is well aware of this. Todays announcement builds on the endoscopy announcement and this further builds on their whittling away at our services over the past few years.. Unless HHS Board can be influenced to ensure a critical mass of acute care services remain at WLMH it is futile to petition MOH, or ask for a rebuild. It will be over- and at the hands of HHS.


We were successful in our community “Save the hospital Campaign” in the past, particularly 1998 because the three municipalities mobilized together. We were united, strong, loud, organized and intelligent in our protest. We had a combination of community engagement approaches, including individual lobbying, the rally, the public vote and a press/PR campaign. All of this built such societal momentum that there was little choice for the powers and principalities to do anything other than relent.. While what was at play then was politics ( and is now, and has been for some time), we built a response not based on politics but community values. 

There is little to be lost at this point but to try to mobilize. After December 6, the die will be cast. Lets gather together and see what is possible.

- A group of concerned citizens

For more information, visit their page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/500951597072387/

The Hamilton Health Sciences Board will be voting on the official plan at it’s meeting in December.

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