Three options were presented: continue to pursue de-amalgamation; work with and under the Quinte Healthcare Corporation or give up.
“We have an agreement on direction – to keep going,” said Wolf Braun, POOCH representative. “We had agreement on making POOCH a much larger movement, and to include all Ontario rural hospitals. We had people step forward to help with our fight.”
The newly expanded group will reach out to rural municipalities across the province who are experiencing hospital cuts. The plan is to create a united front to get Premier Kathleen Wynne’s attention.
“There is no way we are going to quit. We have to test the premier’s commitment to rural Ontario,” said Braun.
A few citizens spoke passionately about Picton hospital and about how a concerned community can rally to get what it needs – as it has done in the past.
Audience applause thanked the five-member POOCH committee for its work over the past six months that began with the bus trip to Queen’s Park for a demonstration and meeting with the health minister.
“So many people in our County are vulnerable because of what has been taken away from us,” said Betsy Sinclair, of POOCH. “The goal is out there.”
The meeting ended with POOCH requesting the audience read aloud:
“We have a message for Queen’s Park. We are angry. Do you hear us Queen’s Park? We are angry at what you have done to our hospital. This hospital was built by the people of the County to serve our needs and we will not sit back and see it destroyed. Helping one another is the County way.”
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