Liberals commit to putting a radiation unit in new hospital

Diane Crocker
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About 75 people attended a public meeting on the proposed new regional hospital in Corner Brook Tuesday put off by Liberal Opposition members and held at the Greenwood Inn and Suites.

A commitment from the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador to put a radiation unit in the new hospital in Corner Brook was met with a loud round of applause Tuesday night.

About 75 people, many of them Liberal supporters, attended a meeting at the Greenwood Inn and Suites hosted by the Opposition Caucus members on the proposed new hospital.

After taking those gathered through the results of a study conducted by the party over the last three months Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said, “I needed to be sure before I came back to the people in this room that we came back with evidence.”

Ball was referring to a statement he made during a January meeting at the hotel held by the West Coast Health Care Action Committee. During that event, Ball committed to putting a PET scanner in the new hospital if the Liberals form the next government, but couldn’t say the same on the radiation unit until the party took a closer look at the issue.

“We did our research, we’ve taken the time to do it,” he said. “The evidence is there to support it and, as the official Opposition, we’re committed to delivering radiation services to Western Memorial Hospital.”  

Before getting to that conclusion Ball went through the results of the study, which countered all of the PC government’s reasons for saying no to putting the service on the west coast.

From the unproven model of a single unit, to the need to be located at a tertiary care centre, the challenges of recruitment and retention and finally the numbers, Ball presented information that showed none of  those reasons should prevent a unit from being located here.

“If we were here making this decision on emotion well all of us in the room, all of us in the province, would do this,” said Ball following the meeting. “But you have to base it on evidence and that’s what we’ve been able to do over the last three months.”

Ball said when you look at the infrastructure cost, the upfront cost, on putting in a radiation unit it’s not extremely high, “Yet it’s extremely beneficial to the people who need the service.”

He said he doesn’t see this as an election issue as the planning for a radiation unit has to start now and made a part of the plan for the new hospital.

“I know one thing, it’s not finished yet,” he said of the design plan for the facility. “So now is the time to do it.”

Meanwhile, Gerald Parsons, co-chair of the action committee, is hoping the announcement by the Liberals will help as the committee prepares to hold its own meeting Thursday night.

“At least now it’s out there that they’re willing to do it if they form the next government,” he said.

Parsons said the research the Liberals presented is similar to what the committee has found and, in some cases, was more in depth.

But the end result was the same.

“We knew we could support the radiation unit here in Corner Brook,” he said. “This can’t die now. This is not done. This is just a commitment. We need to keep the pressure on whoever forms the next government to make sure this is done.”

Thursday’s meeting is scheduled to get underway at the Pepsi Centre at 6:30 p.m.

Organizations: Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, Greenwood Inn, Opposition Caucus Pepsi Centre West Coast Health Care Action Committee Western Memorial Hospital

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Dianne
    April 23, 2014 - 15:40

    Henry we had faith in Tom Marshall, look where that got us? no where. Henry you have to understand Liberal are going to be no better. Dwight Ball will promise N & L the sun. But when they become to power. all your going to hear from him. IS THANK YOU SUCKER. I got my picture on walls of the HOA...Remember you heard its from me first.

  • Dianne
    April 23, 2014 - 11:46

    Henry, Just because the liberal are on record, promising a committee, concerning those items. There no where did they say how long the people would have to wait. Did you hear Dwight Ball saying, If the liberals form the next government, It would move full speed ahead? NO. All they done was made a committee. that it. With out a start up date, or a dead line of completion date. Just another promise, to get your vote.

    • Henry
      April 23, 2014 - 15:23

      Dianne sometimes you have to have faith and hope that kind of politics will change. If you can't have faith and be positive then the only alternative is negativity... Time for a change.

  • John Q. Public
    April 23, 2014 - 10:49

    Don't pay any attention to the Progressive Conservative comments. The public meeting last night was full of PCs including independent PC Mr. Bennett.... Not any one of them asked any questions pro or con or offered an alternative. What do you expect politicians to say trying to get elected? Better to take a chance on the Liberals now they made this a election issue, maybe Tom Marshall will listen to the people now and decide this once and for all. Good by Progressive Conservatives, hello Liberals.... If he does not decide in favor of the public. West Coasters are sick of the shabby treatment..Short memory guys. Do any one remember Kathy Dunderdale farce. Tom Marshall could not even get his budgets straight over the years which lead to huge deficits placed on us by this Government, and huge public service layoffs and public program cuts, secrecy on Muskrat Falls debate which will lead to very high res elect electrical bills. I had enough... You would have to be nuts to vote for this crew. Debate and refute the information the liberals provided regarding radiation care and not the person or party affiliation. Don't that make sense?

  • Henry
    April 23, 2014 - 08:47

    About time. The Liberals have now got the information required to determine if a radiation unit is viable and unveiled to public. I attended the meeting last night and was impressed with information provided and I am told that information can stand test of objectivity and supports position of our West Coast Committee representing this issue. That a radiation unit is viable. The liberals are now on record as promising what the citizens of the West Coast and region want in terms of their health care and not be dictated to by Minister Susan Sullivan from the capital on how we should maintain our health. I will vote liberal in the next general election on this issue alone if the Progressive Conservatives do not go on record and give the citizens this important feature of our health care.. Tom Marshall states he supports this initiative but has not committed to the West Coast. Deferring this issue to expensive studies is not what we want Mr. Marshall... The information you need is readily available maybe you can get a copy of the information you require from Dwight Ball and the Liberals.... Save the taxpayers $500,000.00.

  • They are all the same
    April 23, 2014 - 08:25

    A politician making an election promise? That must be a first. Quick, take it to the bank.

  • Scott
    April 23, 2014 - 06:25

    Sorry people, I was at the meeting last night, Once more we have a difference party pulling the wool over our eyes. concerning the new hospital along with a pet scanners. Dwight is about get the next seat, its not about the people. sorry.