Government considering cutbacks in ultrasound machines in new Corner Brook hospital: Opposition

Cory Hurley
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Dwight Ball

CORNER BROOK  The Opposition is proclaiming to have revealed more downsizing of health care services with respect to the future hospital in Corner Brook.

The issue again came up in the House of Assembly Monday.

According to an Opposition press release, Health Minister Susan Sullivan admitted government is reviewing all of the equipment required for the new hospital slated to be built in Corner Brook.

“The minister can call it functional planning, right-sizing, or whatever she wants,” Opposition Leader Dwight Ball stated. “The fact is that, instead of having the current complement of six ultrasound units that operate at Western Memorial Regional Hospital, this government is considering putting just three units in the new hospital.

Ball called it yet another downgrade of services for the new regional hospital in Corner Brook.

“Over and over again, this government proves that right-sizing really means downsizing,” he stated. “It’s another example of a continued lack of planning which will result in the denial of basic services and what will become standard for health care in the future.”

Questions still remain about the cost of operating a PET scanner at the new hospital, and the availability of isotopes to help run the unit. Eddie Joyce, MHA for the Bay of Islands, stated a similar PET scanner is in operation at the University of Saskatchewan. They are able to ship isotopes from 2,500 kilometers away in Hamilton, Ontario, he said.

“How can the minister continue to insist that the cost for a PET scanner on the west coast is in the $40 million range?” he stated. “Instead of making excuses for why a PET scanner isn’t feasible for the west coast, the minister should be taking extra steps to ensure the equipment is made available at a reasonable price.

Joyce said Sullivan again reiterated that radiation services will not be provided to patients at Western Memorial Regional Hospital.



Organizations: Western Memorial Regional Hospital, Corner Brook hospital, House of Assembly Monday.According Opposition press University of Saskatchewan

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Bay of Islands, Hamilton Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Charles
    December 15, 2013 - 06:05

    @ Sid Drithers, You sound like some one who like to sit around and do nothing, As for 8 hrs drive to St John's I did it many times, but I didn't cry over it. But its still come down to, where is the money coming from. Are the MHA'S willing to take a cut in pay to help out, or just give themselves a raise?

  • peter barry
    December 10, 2013 - 08:25

    and the silence of our two members marshall and granter not standing up for the people of this region is unbelieveable.ther is no reason people on this side of the island with cancer should have to go to st johns for treatment.marshall and granter you were voted in by the people of this area to represent both have failed terribly.shame on you both.i hope the people of this area remember this in 2015.i voted pc the last election but not next time.

  • When Will it Stop ..... or "START"
    December 10, 2013 - 07:52

    Downsizing medical equipment & procedures equals losing specialists & professional support staff. You can be guaranteed of that! Think long & hard before going that route. The majority of the population of NL may be on the east coast but there are still tax-paying citizens this side of the Overpass who qualify as having rights to medical attention & treatment. The West Coast has paid in big dollars for many long years to this proud Province. We HAVE carried our load & deserve more respect & consideration. Where are our own politicians who should be fighting this cause for us? Mr. Israel Hann & Company - as a highly respected private citizen who is able to speak up for this important cause - please do not give up your efforts to have the new West Coast Regional Hospital - in its entirety - come to Corner Brook. As private citizens we just do not have the money to be paying for transport; room & board while dealing with sickness. We deserve more consideration & respect.

  • IAMtheJIB
    December 10, 2013 - 07:20

    Cutting back ultrasound machines? My wife just waited almost 3 months for an ultrasound here in Corner Brook....and had to go to Stephenville hospital to get it then.

  • JM
    December 09, 2013 - 23:23

    This makes NO sense. If you are going to be putting less services in the new hospital why don't you just not make one?

  • david
    December 09, 2013 - 21:27

    Let's just skip to the final act: Corner Brook will get a parking garage. In 2024. Depending.

  • Larry
    December 09, 2013 - 19:02

    I dont see the point in building a new hospital if they are cutting back on what to put in it. They may as well keep the hospital we got now.

    • TerryK
      December 10, 2013 - 07:33

      The current WMRH is falling apart as we speak and getting worse every day. The duct tape and baling wire is just not doing the job anymore. I suspect, by the time the new design is completed, all we'll be getting will be little more than a cottage hospital. One wonders where the 'new' city council is in all this. Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

  • Charles
    December 09, 2013 - 18:44

    Mr Ball, I'm not a cold heartless person. But I do look at reality of life. Where is this money coming from? That liberals are so willing to be spending, No one got the right to be playing game with people life's, and that what going on here. Just trying to score political points. Mr Ball why don't you and Mr Joyce give the people the liberals plans concerning this topic? Just because ye are in opposition. That don't mean the liberals can't show leadership.

    • Sid Dithers
      December 10, 2013 - 05:47

      Sir Charles. You'd prefer to drive 8 hours for treatment in St. John's? Talk about playing games with peoples lives.

    • Blunt
      December 10, 2013 - 12:58

      Sour grapes there very much ??????? And just what would you propose ????