Kincardine is getting a brand-new CT scanner. This is excellent news for the community, but news that has led to some difference of opinions all the same. In particular, I know concerns have been raised about the type of scanner selected by the board of the Kincardine Hospital.
I want to provide some clarity to the community. The provincial government is funding the construction of Kincardine’s new CT suite/project itself, but is not involved in the selection or purchasing of medical equipment. As always, it is up to the local hospital board to determine the appropriate equipment to meet the hospital’s needs. In turn, the hospital board then must work with the hospital foundation to ensure the funds are in place for the purchase of selected equipment.
Since this issue has escalated, people have been asking me, in my role as MPP, if I can intervene or ask the Ministry of Health to withhold approval. I share the following fact to clear up any misconceptions.
It is important to note – and this is key – that hospitals are independent corporations accountable to their own boards of directors. As set out under the Public Hospitals Act and other legislation, hospitals are directly responsible for their own day-to-day management, including decisions about equipment purchases. By nature of the hospital board’s incorporation, neither the Ministry of Health nor myself have jurisdiction over decisions made by the hospital board.
With that said, and given the hospital board’s incorporation, the government cannot interfere or intervene with purchase decisions or how those purchases are funded.
I sincerely hope the community and its local hospital board and hospital foundation can come together and move forward in such a way that all controversy and frustration can be parked.
Please trust that our provincial government has made the overall Kincardine major redevelopment project a priority. We recognize that community support is required not just for the new CT scanner, but also other important improvements such as the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging, and lab departments that will be realized through the redevelopment project. I truly hope the significance of our government’s commitment to the hospital redevelopment, and the additional community support required to support the redevelopment, is not over-shadowed by this current situation.
I have never stopped striving to ensure the hospital redevelopment dollars were realized for your community and the redevelopment announcement we made last fall certainly was a great moment for Kincardine. In that same spirit, I encourage you to continue to strive for a solution for the CT scanner issue that brings the community together and sees Kincardine poised and prepared to take on the redevelopment of the hospital. I remain committed to assisting with the infrastructure and services your community needs as it continues to grow and be a place everyone can be proud to call home.
Lisa Thompson, MPP, Huron-Bruce