WEB ONLY: Some hospital closures in best interest of community says Hamner

Waterloo Wellington LHIN CEO Sandra Hamner says the only guaranteed future of local health care is that there will be change.

At a recent  public consultation meeting in Harriston, Hamner was questioned about LHIN’s role in closing hospitals in other parts on Ontario.

A statement was made that when a similar group was formed out west, dozens of small rural hospitals were closed.

Audience members were looking for assurance that neither the Mount Forest or Palmerston hospitals would close … voicing concern that it was a LHIN recommendation which led to the closure of a hospital in Fort Erie.

Hamner said the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant LHIN which covers the Niagara region went through a similar planning process to Waterloo Wellington’s to look at the services needed in particular areas.

“The decision that was made there, was in the best interest of the local area,” Hamner said.

“It isn’t necessarily something which will be translated from one LHIN to the next,” she said.

She said the only guarantee is how services will be provided and where they will be provided.

“Whether a hospital closes, doesn’t close, or changes its focus, is all part of the procees.”

“I cannot guarantee that they won’t close. I can guarantee though, that we will be providing the services that are needed in this community.”