Ball says Liberals would put a PET scanner in new hospital

Diane Crocker
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Provincial Liberal party leader Dwight Ball speaks at a public meeting Thursday at the Greenwood Inn and Suites.

CORNER BROOK  Liberal Leader Dwight Ball knew going into Thursday’s public meeting on plans for the new hospital in Corner Brook that his party could be put on the spot.

Well that happened when Gerald Parsons, vice-chair of the health-care action committee that organized the meeting at the Greenwood Inn and Suites, asked for a commitment from the Liberals that if they formed the next government that they would put a PET scanner and a radiation unit in the new hospital.

“Why did I know that was coming,” said Ball to laughs and applause from the over 200 present, when he took the microphone to respond.

His answer was a definite yes on the PET scanner, but he said the radiation unit was more complicated.

“First of all we’ve done enough research on the PET scanning right now to know that in eight years time there’s no reason in the world Western Memorial wouldn’t have a PET scanner.”

He said by the time the new hospital is built it would be basic equipment.

“So yes we’re prepared to do that as a Liberal government.”

But Ball said he had to be honest with the people and wouldn’t commit to providing a radiation unit.

He said the party needs to get more information on what setting up and running a radiation unit would require.

He said with the next election coming in 2015 he knows that it’s a question he’ll be asked again and he told those present he would have an answer by then.

After the meeting Ball said “I just want to make sure we can do this in a safe and effective way.”

He said he wanted to be sure that if it’s something the Liberals make a commitment to, that it’s something they can actually deliver.

When talking about the cost of building the hospital, Ball said “it’s not just about whatever the number is to build a new facility, it’s also about the cost, the impact on people.”

For example, Ball said savings from the medical transportation assistance program could offset the cost of providing services like a radiation unit. And he said the scope of practice can be expanded so that technologists do more.

“So there’s ways to find not just the bricks and mortars of the building,” he said.

Ball was not the only politician in the room Thursday night. He was joined by fellow Liberals, Eddie Joyce, MHA for the Bay of Islands, and Gerry Byrne, the MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte.

Three members of Corner Brook City Council, Keith Cormier, Tony Buckle and Josh Carey, were also in attendance as were Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball, Massey Drive Mayor Gord Davis and Irishtown-Summerside Mayor Tony Blanchard and former mayor Lloyd Burton.

Organizations: Greenwood Inn

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Deer Lake

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Recent comments

  • Too Funny
    January 11, 2014 - 09:16

    That's rich. Promises by the tories to build a hospital are met with promises by the liberals to put equipment in it. And the suckers fall for it all the time.

  • John
    January 10, 2014 - 08:10

    So, how is that different from the government's current position on the situation? These 'rallies' are just orchestrated excuses to give exposure to certain politicians so that they can be perceived to be doing something when in fact they are ineffectual and all they can do is grandstand. Mr. Byrne will fix this like he fixed Marine Atlantic when he was in a position to do so. I am encouraged to see that Mr.Ball is honest and informed; he shows a lot of promise.

  • Henry
    January 10, 2014 - 08:03

    I attended the meeting last night. Mayor Charles Pender and or Deputy Mayor Staben were not in attendence. The only representation from the city were three councilors. Other mayors were there to support this important meeting. Didn't Mayor Pender not think this was important for him to support this cause? A picture is worth a thousand words Mayor Pender. I am disgusted at your non participation at this meeting. Oh by the way our elected provincial progressive conservative Mha's were not in attendance as well but were invited namely Vaughn Granter and Tom Marshall. I guess Charles Pender , Vaughn Granter and Tom Marshall were to busy to grace this committee with a visit last night and update the public. Shamefull, shameful. We expect more from our elected officials.

  • Linda
    January 10, 2014 - 07:34

    Everyone in this province have been touch in one way or another with the big C. Sorry people I have to be honesty, Liberals are will to make commitments to a PET scanner, but not to a radiation unit. Isn't that something like going into Mary Brown, and coming out without the gravy. There no rest to build a new hospital on the west coast, unless we have those two pcs of equipment into them.

  • f
    January 10, 2014 - 06:45

    Yup Mr. eay to SAY things when your not premier to GET elected premier...well see what happens if you get your chance to sit in the big chair what will really happen......I hope the NDP find someone worthwhile to give you a run for your money election time. Politicians say things before election time to sweeten the pot of being the king(or queen) of the hill but once they get there the grass is not always greener on the other side and then they find it hard to meet the obligations of the voters who put them there in the first place.