First the good news — Coun. Laura Aylward says Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville is one of the best hospitals in the province.
Now the bad news — Aylward says people on social media have to stop stirring up fear about the facility.
She said at the regular general meeting of the Stephenville town council last Thursday that if somebody has an issue with the hospital or services provided, he or she should take their concerns to the site manager rather than go on social media.
Aylward, who is also chair of the West Coast Health Care Action Committee, which meets annually with Western Health to go over concerns, said members have seen many improvements at the hospital since they formed the organization in 2003-04.
She said some people seem to be concerned about wait times at the emergency department at the hospital, but from what she can see those have improved, since the facility has two nurse practitioners working in that department.
“I encourage people to use our hospital when needed, as it’s a great facility with great services,” Aylward said.
She said one of the concerns she brought up with Western Health, which has been brought up for years by the health care action committee, is the amount of long-term care patients in the hospital because there is no room for them in long-term care facilities.
“We’ve always put in our recommendation to have another public long-term care facility built in the area,” she said.
Mayor Tom Rose agreed, noting that another seniors’ home is needed in the area to take pressure off the hospital.
Coun. Don Gibbon added that land was allotted in the past behind the new hospital for a long-term home.
Rose wants to get Minister of Health and Community Services John Haggie to meet with council to discuss this issue.
However, Coun. Maurice Hynes said council needs to get the numbers first on the number of seniors in the hospital long term to back up what they want to do.