Hann calls for protest over hospital inaction

Diane
Diane Crocker
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CORNER BROOK  Israel Hann thinks it’s time for the people of western Newfoundland and Labrador to come together and demand answers on what is happening with the new hospital for Corner Brook.

Long-time advocate for health-care and seniors issues Israel Hann believes it's time for people to demand answers regarding Corner Brook's new hospital.

“We’ve got to wake up Corner Brook and we’ve got to wake up the people from southern Labrador, and we’ve got to make it from Port aux Basques to Corner Brook and from out to Baie Verte to Corner Brook, said Hann, a long-time advocate for health care and seniors issues.

“Everybody is going to need this hospital. This is the regional hospital.”

Hann said talk of downsizing the facility is especially concerning.

“Geez, it’s not downsizing we want. It’s upsizing we want now,” he said.

The hospital was announced in 2007 and in 2010 the province committed to starting construction last summer. But despite spending $20 million on the project in the last couple of years, construction is nowhere near ready to start.

The site between Cpl. Pinksen Memorial Drive and the Lewin Parkway has been cleared and shaped, and water and sewer extended to it. However, the design for the facility has yet to be decided and the province is currently reviewing a master program report on the hospital completed for it by Stantec.

“I think we have to go out and join hands around that site,” said Hann in reference to a campaign to get a MRI machine for Western Memorial Regional Hospital.

“We’ve got to protest, because this is not right. We can’t go on like this or we’re going to end up with nothing.”

He added that Western Memorial is “deteriorating that fast that you can almost go in and sit down and watch it deteriorate before your eyes.”

Last week, five new state-of-the-art operating rooms were opened at the hospital in Grand Falls-Windsor, and while Hann congratulates that town, he questions why nothing was done for Western Memorial.

“If it comes to rain we’re frightened to death up here that they’re going to have to close the operating room.”

He said any repairs or work done at the hospital is only “patchwork,” and he fears the condition of the facility will affect staffing.

“We’ve got some very good doctors in Corner Brook, but I’m frightened they’re going to start leaving because they’re not going to stay and work under the conditions they have to work in there right now.”

Despite his concerns, Hann still had encouraging words about Health Minister Susan Sullivan.

“I think that she’s a powerhouse,” he said. “(But) the people that we have representing us here on the west coast have fallen asleep. Now I know they’re not going to like that.”

He said there needs to be more women in government from the west coast.

“The women seem to get more done and I think they’ve got a better understanding of the problems that we have than some of the men that are serving on government right now.”

 

dcrocker@thewesternstar.com

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

 

 

Organizations: Stantec, Western Memorial Regional Hospital

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Southern Labrador, Port aux Basques Baie Verte Lewin Parkway Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • Shawn Elford
    March 12, 2013 - 22:16

    what a laughing stock of a city that can't even get this hospital done. Corner brook will one day become a deserted place where all you will see is dust bunnies and tumble weeds blowing through the emptiness of what once was a vibrant city with so much to offer. what a sad day this will become in the future. I am glad I don't live there any longer.

  • Mrs. Clause
    March 12, 2013 - 12:41

    I meant Tom Marshall.

  • Sunshine
    March 12, 2013 - 12:04

    When Joey Smallwood was in power and he wanted anything for ST.John's his remark would be let's get it from the "FAT COW" in Corner Brook meaning Bowater's,some things never change now the FAT Cow's are Bowaters and Labrador.It's time for people to WAKE UP AND RISE UP AND BE HEARD.Let's make this hospital a reality.

  • Ed. Anstey
    March 12, 2013 - 12:02

    OK israel lets try and get some people on the move and do some protesting to try and let this government know that there is more to this province than st. johns, carbonear, grand falls and stephenville. thats where all the money is being funnelled. lets make sure that is the only seats dunderdale and clowns get in the next election.

    • ben
      March 12, 2013 - 19:34

      Why do idiots always want to divide their support. We , in Stephenville fully support a hospital for Corner Brook for it will be for us also. But, ed is completely out of line by saying that we get all. We lost the mill and unlike Corner Brook, we were not bailed out. How about all the meny that has been spent in the Deer Lake airport. That hospital will be for all the west coast and will be supported by all if no more stupid comments are made. We need all the support that we can muster.

  • peter barry
    March 12, 2013 - 11:52

    as far as i know the design for the hospital was done a few years ago because mr marshall sent out a pamphlet in the mail outlining all the things that he has done for the riding and one of the pictures was the design of the new hospital and what it was going to look like.this 6 year delay is one thing and one thing only and that is a downsized hospital.i hope people of humber east and west remember this the next election because i voted pc the last time but not the next.

  • Mrs. Clause
    March 12, 2013 - 09:07

    I find it odd that construction of other hospitals have gone ahead, for instance there is one being built in Carbonear, there is always some big project or other in the East Coast area, we seem to be the poor relatives here on the West Coast, lots of promises when they're looking for votes , Jack Marshall proved himself to be all talk , no action man. I agree with Mr. White, we definitely need a bigger hospital, and quickly!

  • david
    March 12, 2013 - 08:32

    Protest?! That hole was the biggest political success in Newfoundland history. It worked perfectly. THey might even win an election someday in the future promising to fill it in.....THAT would be one for the Hall of Fame !