July 16

Letter to the editor as published in today’s Chatham Daily News http://www.ChathamDailyNews.ca

Sir :Within three days of learning of a CKHA consultant's (Veritas Communications Canada) attempts to obtain information to defame the character of a respected community volunteer, CKHA Triboard chair Jennifer Wilson has proclaimed the CKHA was unaware of those actions ("CKHA axes consultant over Wesley affair," The Chatham Daily News, July 9).
Imagine how this hasty internal inquiry of senior CKHA administration into inappropriate conduct of supposed community engagement has mitigated the concerns of Mr. Wesley and the scores of residents concerned with the ongoing erosion of services at SDH. Imagine CKHA CEO Ken Tremblay and the entire senior staff being out of the office on March 20 when 600 residents from the SDH catchment area arrive by car, tractor, bus and hearse to discuss concerns with the recommendations of another CKHA consultant (Deloitte National Health Services Group) to downgrade the emergency department at SDH to an urgent care centre for a cost savings of $661K.

Imagine CKHA CEO Ken Tremblay declining an invitation by the local LHIN to attend an open public meeting attended by over 1,000 concerned citizens at WDSS on March 27 to discuss recommendations by another consultant (Hay Group Health Care Consulting) that included the closure of the emergency department in Wallaceburg and redirection of all patients to Chatham.

Imagine CKHA CEO Ken Tremblay's response to a March 23 SOS request to review a four-year- old report on the building condition of SDH by yet another CKHA consultant (Stantec Architecture Ltd.) being, "The main report will not be released to you . . . We have checked with legal counsel and that is their direction -- as an advocacy group, there is no FOI obligation to provide the detailed report to you or engage in its interpretation with you."

Imagine the CKHA closing the Intensive Care Unit, the Obstetrics department and the Mammography department and greatly reducing a number of other services in laboratory, rehabilitation, digital-imaging and operating room services at SDH.

It is hard to imagine that this endeavour to consult with the community on the CKHA future intentions to "redevelop" the SDH could be more erroneous.

-- Jim Hasson Wallaceburg