Caught off guard

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Mayor, union leader claim they had no warning of proposed health service cuts

The Town of Lewisporte is organizing a rally for Thursday to create awareness about the future loss of laboratory and X-ray services in the town.

Health and Community Services Minister Paul Oram announced plans Monday for a reorganization that will mean an end to lab and X-ray services in Lewisporte and Flower's Cove. It's not known yet when the changes will take effect.

The Town of Lewisporte is organizing a rally for Thursday to create awareness about the future loss of laboratory and X-ray services in the town.

Health and Community Services Minister Paul Oram announced plans Monday for a reorganization that will mean an end to lab and X-ray services in Lewisporte and Flower's Cove. It's not known yet when the changes will take effect.

Lewisporte Mayor Bill Hooper said Tuesday he was completely caught off guard by the minister's comments. He said there was no mention of this when he met with Oram only a couple of weeks ago.

"We weren't advised that a press release was coming out, either," Hooper said. "I thought at least out of courtesy, they could have said they were putting a press release out."

Hooper said it took a few hours for the news to settle in.

On Tuesday morning, the Lewisporte mayor met with the town's economic development chairman and councillors.

"We decided then that we're going to have a rally at the X-ray and lab building on Thursday at 2 p.m. to make the public aware of what's happening," he said.

Hooper figures a lot of residents who will be affected are not aware of the proposed changes.

"After Thursday, if we get public support, then we'll take another course of action. What that action is, I don't really know at this time," he said.

The union representing lab and X-ray workers in the province says it was also blindsided by the minister's statements.

Carol Furlong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), said Tuesday she felt the announcement was handled with "some insensitivity."

She said even the workers affected in Lewisporte and Flower's Cove learned of the proposed reorganization through the news media or other people.

"We weren't apprised of this. The first we heard was the announcement yesterday," Furlong said.

According to Oram, the planned changes are part of a streamlining to improve services. He said Monday that residents in Flower's Cove requiring lab tests and X-rays will get these services at the Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony, and residents in Lewisporte can go to Gander and the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. The effective date of these changes will be announced later in the fall.

Blood collection services, however, will still be available in Flower's Cove and Lewisporte.

According to the Department of Health, three employees are directly affected in Lewisporte, and one in Flower's Cove. Oram said there are many lab and X-ray job vacancies, however, throughout the province.

Hooper said it's his understanding there are now between 5,000 and 6,000 X-rays a year in Lewisporte, which is a hub for other rural communities. "We service about 9,000 people in small outlying communities," he said.

The elimination of services in Lewisporte will mean some people will have to drive an hour and a half to Grand Falls-Windsor and then have to wait there, the mayor said.

"Our main concern is the health of the people, but then the economic spinoff for the town of Lewisporte is a factor, as well," he said. "It will be harder to recruit doctors and more strain on the doctors we have here, so they're not going to be content, either."

Hooper said Lewisporte has had X-ray service for more than 50 years.

Oram said Monday his department had contacted NAPE and was waiting to hear back from the union.

Furlong said she knew nothing about that.

"I don't know who they contacted here," she said. "This just fell in our lap yesterday."

Furlong said she's concerned that people's lives are affected, and it may extend even beyond the workers directly involved. She said the lab and X-ray workers haven't even been told that they will be employed elsewhere.

Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones said Tuesday the minister's announcement is another example of how health-care delivery in rural areas continues to be downgraded.

"If the decision to strip Lewisporte and Flower's Cove of these services is allowed to stand, I fear which other communities will lose their services during government's ongoing review," Jones said.

dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Community Services, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, Curtis Memorial Hospital Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre Department of Health

Geographic location: Lewisporte, Grand Falls-Windsor, St. Anthony Gander

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Recent comments

  • the butler did it
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Here we go again with the lack of communications with the dept of health and the external communications coming from that dept. New day , new minister, same old problem. I'd love to see the briefing notes on how this decision was made and how it makes any difference, oh wait, there aren't any! When are the people of this province going to send the Williams lead gov. a message, why areen't we all getting a little tired of being played for fools. Lets put a 12 doz NDP and a dozen Libs back in to keep this little dict in check.

  • Chesley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    We seem to have a major crisis we are infested with yet another for of the Bones syndrome. It calls itself Bones IV. A fake Bones no doubt but just as big an idiot non the less. No wonder dictator Dan appears to be so popular. Is this where his support comes from. The Bone heads of the world? Its a sham that in the 21st century or Health Care system is back tracking to when I was a young lad 50 years ago. Way to go Danny. The never ending dictatorship at least is in good health.

  • Happy brains aren't
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Bones, I think you have it a bit backwards. Take the 6 hour wait you get any any hospital and add another 2 on it. At least in town if there's an emergency they can skip the 6 hours and get immediate care. Around the bay people will still have a 2 hour drive... you can cut the wait time, but you can't cut physical geography. Wonder how many people will actually die during that 2 hour drive?

  • Dr.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    It's a conspiracy theaory, to have all the elderly drive for hours for routine diagnostic checks and hopefully they will hit a moose & not need to be sucking our health care system dry. It's his way or no way.

  • Bones IV
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Two hour drive around the bay or 6 hour wait in town. Which do you prefer ? Stop whining.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    i'm not a danny fan, and thus this is not a defence on his character or anything of the sort but he probably doesn't read these comments boards so leaving posts that speak directly to danny are redundant and not only is it redundant, it's unncessary (joke) but seriously when you say (way to go danny) and (i hope you're happy with yourself danny) it has no effect on any possible opinion you could be trying to make. i mean i could yell at the pope but he wouldn't get the message.

    my main point is relax have a cup of tea or a puff of wee and then make your comments with a less hatefull mindset

  • Charlie Oliver
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Another busy day at work is it Bones my friend? Stuck in a go nowhere dead end job are you? Well Bones call the Premiers office he is looking for people just like you. Loyal obedient, when told to jump ask how high sir. You would fit right in. Minimal use of that old grey matter called a brain. Danny does all the thinking for you. You just do and say what he tells you to do and say. Your a natural for the job Bones. Better pay better working conditions. NO UNIONS Danny hates unions. remember the public sector strike a few years back Bones? Dannys son got into a bit of a misunderstanding at his bar down town and had his boyish looks re arranged. Danny blamed the union for that one. It had to be one of the Danny haters Bones. Really Bones my boy come up with some original material. You always resort to the same old fall back. Danny haters Danny haters all of us. I hate no one Bones my friend not even you. We all have opinions we dont always agree thats wht makes us unique. Unlike the Williams cabinet we are not all clones. Because I happen to hold a somewhat different opinion than someone else doesnt mean I hate that person Bones. It means that perhaps I hate their actions, I hate their decision making process, I hate being lied to constantly, I hate the cover ups. I DO NOT HATE THE PERSON. Thats old Bones. Move on my friend. Your loyalty to Premier Danny is commendable and I am quite sure does not go un noticed by the staff in his office. YES bones they actually do read this stuff. What actions ever come out of any of this is questionable at the least. With your dedication and ambition Bones you would be a natural fit. Then you would actually get paid very well to call us Danny haters. Now now dont get carried away I never said we love him either. That my boy we leave entirely up to you.. I dont have the time or desire to take on another venture such as that at this point in my life. By the way dont think for one minute that Danny needs you 24/7 total dedication and constant defence. the man is quite capable of defending himself. trust me I shold know. Why you choose to do it only you know. Whatever the reason thats your business but please young man please stop calling me and anyone else a Danny hater just because we sometimes question the mans actions. The real world both in personal and business affairs dosent work that way young man. Apparently though that seems to be the trend in your world. Have to run my next appointment will be here soon. Relax Bones take a deep breath and picture the world without Danny in it. Its really not such a bad place and we dont all hate him or you. Pitty would be a more fitting word, but I digress. Cheers Bones. Good luck with the job search.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Similar but so very different Stan. Cute though how you went out of your way to make spelling mistakes unlike the perfectionist Bones. I know by saying you two are the same person I probably insulted one or both of you. For that I am sincerely sorry to whoever reads this first. Related perhaps? Who knows.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I used to live an hour outside of St.John's. We would have to drive into town to have anything done, there were no facilities then, and none now. I understand that every little community wants to have their own gleaming clinic, paid for by the taxpayers of the province,but it is just not feasible. The populations of thses places are dwindling, healthcare needs to be centralized inorder to provide the best care. If you live in an outport you will have to drive to receive services, as simple as that.

  • Willi_makit
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Judging from the story and the comments, the government line is streamlining / rationalization and effective use of tax dollars - all admirable goals - but only if applied consistantly.
    Are all communities receiving similar treatment (pardon the pun) - or are the decisions purely arbitrary? Perhaps this so-called Danny Williams government would like to show us the policy that determines which communities get what services.

  • Jen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Taxpayer, (as if you're the only one here) why don't we take your logic a step further and rather than cut health services across the province, cut them across the country so that they will be centralized in the major cities to save you, the most exalted taxpayer even more. You wont mind going to Montreal or Toronto for services once available in St. John's. A cancer clinic in Halifax? Sorry, its just no longer feasible. Why does Yellowknife warrant a Respiratory Therapy clinic? Close it and let the blow-hards move to Vancouver. Imagine how much money we would save if we cut healthcare from places deemed no longer financially feasible. And if a few people die on the way, no matter, they probably werent financially feasible either. It will save YOU tax money -- and isnt that really what counts? I suppose you wouldnt mind cuts to the military either, eh?

  • Kevin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Repeat after me...we love danny...we love danny...we love danny. Happy now Bones? Now repeat after me again. We hate lies... we hate corruption...we hate living in a dictatorship. Hatred seems to be your department Bones we will leave that all up to you. Drink up the flavor of the day is lemon. Bitter hard to swallow and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Just like some of this governments actions lately.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Jen, I'm well aware that I am not the only taxpayer here, we all pay taxes, no matter who we are, and no I'm not exalted, as for military funding I have family in Afganistan as we speak. Being a taxpayer though, enables me to voice my thoughts about issues that are important to me.
    As to your analogy I think it is very weak. If a community is too small to warrant a hospital or a clinic, and all the costs associated, then it only makes good sense to place these facilities to a central area, so as to serve the entire community. I know many people who have to travel to larger centers on the mainland to get care, because it is not available here. This is just a fact of life. We have a tiny population in this province, about the same size as the suburb of Scarbourgh. We just don't have the money to provide all these services, even in St. John's. We have a 10 billion dollar debt load that we are passing on to our kids.
    Health care is tremendously expensive, and becomming moreso everyday. As a province we are approaching two thirds of our budget being spent on healthcare, soon to be three quarters. This simply cannot be sustained.
    Honestly, I would like nothing more than for every tiny town in our province to have hospitals and clinics, and MRI machines, and dyalisys machines, however someone has to pay for all this. Is it fair for those who had to move to the larger centers to subsidise the outport way of life? I had to sell my place by the sea and move to St.john's, not because I wanted to, but because I had to.It's called reality. The whole world is urbanizing not because it wants to, but because it has to. People want expensive services, that only larger centers can provide.
    My heart goes out to all those affected, but those living outside the overpass better be prepared for some reduction in all services as their populations get smaller and smaller. This goes for any community on the planet.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Chesley: I hope you hateful words make you feel better. Really, I do. 'Infested with yet another for of the Bones syndrome'? What's that? When you were a young lad 50 years ago, health care in this province was much, much worse, cheaper though, lol, I can assure you of that.

    Happy: Brains are not made of Bones, period. It has nothing to do with happy and I'm sure any of these people are quite welcome to move closer to any facility they are attached to, lol........if it makes them happy.

    Psuedo-Bones IV: I think Lewisporte's biggest problem is the jobs that will move and the convenience they will lose. It's important to remember that the needs of the many (province) outweigh the needs of the few (Lewisporte). Nobody seems to take any of the positive into account. Healthcare needs to be fixed in a bad way and no matter where it starts or who starts it, someone is going to have a problem with it.

    Jen: Are you really comparing a trip to another city in another province to a 2 hour drive to St. John's, Grand Falls, or Gander? Do you think this is about saving money, or streamlining many services under one roof? Why not go all out and suggest we head to another country altogether? lol

    Beverly: Hateful again, huh? Nothing new here. I was happy with how that issue was handled too, lol. You should get your pc checked, pop ups like that don't come from google searches. Maybe Danny is after putting something on your computer?! I wish I knew a good shop to recommend.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Well Bones returns with a name this time Stan Darsh. The twin brother perhaps. By starting off saying your not a Danny fan thats the first clue. A friend of mine works at Confederation Building Stan Bones and yes they listen to the talk shows the monitor the newspapers and the web sites. There are staff members whos main job is to do just that. It does reach the premiers office. Does he really care? Not a chance in hell. Lay off the puff of wee Stan Bones your wee brain seems to be allready fried. Thats just one of many side affects of that nasty addiction. Stay healthy Stan Bones because with the split personality you have treatment may be hard to come by these days. I think what your trying to say is that speaking to Danny through this media outlet is like trying to speak to Stan Bones. A lost cause no matter how you try and do it. Not open for discussion. Right about everything and the rest of the world is always wrong. Hatefull mindset? When is your new book coming out Stan Bones? REVENGE OF THE DANNY HATERS. You do seem to be the resident expert on that topic.

  • SouthCoast
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Lab and x-Ray services are crucial, basic health care needs. You mean to tell me that its acceptable for people to travel an hour and a half for an x-ray. This province has an aging population, which increases the need for services, not eliminate them. What's next, people having to travel 2 hours to see a doctor for a cold? The people of the region shouldn't let the government simply bull this through. Where are the MHAs for these regions? Inexcusable!!!

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    When all the Health Care boards amalgamated into four super boards, this was just something that was bound to happen. The bottom line of any corporation is to streamline things, increase productivity, increase profit, and decrease expenditures. The staff in the hospitals found out years ago that they are now only a number to these big businesses, as evidenced by the sick leave policies that have been put in place - one policy fits all, be you someone working in an office setting, away from patient contact, or a frontline worker, exposed every day that they work, to whatever viruses or sicknesses that are on the go. THe staff are all the same to these corporations, with no consideration given as to where they work, or their conditions of work.

    Why are people so suprised that this is starting to happen? Think about some other places. People in places like Trepassey or St Mary's have to travel a long time, over 2 hrs, to get x ray services and bloodwork done. Streamlining has begun, and it will continue, eventually, even though there will be objections. There will be studies done ( if they're not already in place) that will show a declining need for such services in every little nook and cranny. It will be done by whoever is in government, because the cost associated with keeping those services will far outstrip the need for them. Wait and see. Closing the emergency services in an area on the Burin Peninsula for the summer, closing X-Ray services in Lewisporte - it's all connected, and the bottom line is the almighty dollar-costs associated with keeping those places open. More to come, of that you can be sure.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Frank Barter from NL, i enjoy the tint of humor in that last post. see, everything doesn't have to be all serious and up-in-arms about everything. sometimes the confrontational approach is unnecessary. it is possible, i guess, to mistake the non-hatred for danny as being bones-like but i assure you, we do not know each other... well at least i don't know him/her. they may know me and if so i say, GET OUT OF MY BUSHES. but i allways considered myself anti-danny...well not so much anti-danny but not pro-danny. my stepmother worships the ground he walks on and i can't fathom that. it seems this danny movement is more like a cult than a political party. i don't mesh well with mindless following. plus i'm not too blind or stupid to see and understand the double standard once you pass the overpass. if anything i'd be like 55% anti-danny with his record so far, but i can't say he's been completely bad either. at least we don't have double daylight savings time or giant greenhouses filled with bloody cucumbers...hmm... maybe i will change my name to bloody cucumbers...nah

  • Beverly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Let me guess I bet our resident Danny lover Bones will soon be here defending the premiers actions on this one as well. He has to be the premiers Public Relations Officer. No other reason for the garbage he spews out. None that I can see anyway. Has this province ever had a real revolution, well my friends we are on the brink of one and all because of the Williams one man show dictatorship. NO BONES I dont hate Danny. Hate is a word not used on people who have no control over their self centred ego driven actions. The man is out of controll he needs our help not out hatred. He has your full support Bones and I am sure that means a lot to him. While doing a google search a few days ago, work related of course, wink wink all of a sudden a pop up on my screen asked ARE YOU SATASFIED WITH THE WAY PREMIER DANNY WILLIAMS HANDLED THE SEVERANCE PACKAGES FOR THE LAID OFF MILL WORKERS IN GRAND FALLS WINSOR? Well dahhh. YES I am. Does that mean I worship and adore the man? Well dahhh NO. That simple agreement with an action of our beloved premier all of a sudden shows up as a 75 or 80 percent approval rateing of the great man. Numbers can be made to show whatever you want them to show. Just ask a good accountant. Wink Wink. This man takes power control and ego to new levels. My question is. DO WE REALLY LOVE IT ALL THAT MUCH?

  • frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    here we go again. what happened to the very expensive health boards? this again proves that health boards have no function and cost a fortune.

  • I reads and
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    What do you want next ? A CAT Scan for every community ? We use fundraisers to subsidize these big items. Get your communities together and come up with a few 100 grand and then we'll talk. What's that you say ? The population of your community is not big enough to support these items ? And the fact that almost all these communities have their youth leaving which means the populations are in decline ? Oh yeah, sounds like a great use of money.

    Prove your community is growing and maybe, just maybe, you might have a point.

    By the way, NO ONE WILL DIE if you have to wait another 2 hours for an x-ray or blood work (blood work takes a week to get back). Try getting into a hospital in town with the huge line-ups for little cuts on people's fingers. You can be there all day and then be told to come back tomorrow - they are just too busy. Get your facts correct, you're already ahead of the curve.

    But if it really bothers you that there is no school in your area for your children, no grocery store, no employment or no specialized medical services that you personally require due to a KNOWN serious medical condition, then MOVE.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Frank Barter from NL, sorry braugh like dude yer totally misTOKEing there frank buddy. no bones here. only fat and hair. i do my own yammering under the pseudonym from a south park episode. trust me. if i have something to say it will always be under Stan Darsh. Secondly i'm not a big fan of Danny, but that is simply because i'm not a fan of blindly following anything. i like to challenge any authoritative figures ideals. same goes for religon. think before you believe. but as far as Danny goes, i am currently in the process of moving to st. john's so why would i have a problem with him now? he's kinda like stephen harper in a way. if st. john's is to newfoundland what ontario is to canada then they seem pretty similar! but seriously i think one of the bones characters will agree that them is them and me is me

  • Lorraine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    All the commentaries today are focused on the premise that this move will save the government money. Minister Oram has publically stated that cost saving was not the issue here- just improving service. How is it improving service to tie the hands of local doctors and impeding the diagnosis of their patients. Give the doctors the tools they need to help their patients...this is not a mri or a cat scan but a simple x-ray machine that is used constantly and a rate of 25 patients a day, 6000 scans a year! Convince me, Minister Oram that this will improve health care delivery!! I don't think you can.

  • the butler did it
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Here we go again with the lack of communications with the dept of health and the external communications coming from that dept. New day , new minister, same old problem. I'd love to see the briefing notes on how this decision was made and how it makes any difference, oh wait, there aren't any! When are the people of this province going to send the Williams lead gov. a message, why areen't we all getting a little tired of being played for fools. Lets put a 12 doz NDP and a dozen Libs back in to keep this little dict in check.

  • Chesley
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    We seem to have a major crisis we are infested with yet another for of the Bones syndrome. It calls itself Bones IV. A fake Bones no doubt but just as big an idiot non the less. No wonder dictator Dan appears to be so popular. Is this where his support comes from. The Bone heads of the world? Its a sham that in the 21st century or Health Care system is back tracking to when I was a young lad 50 years ago. Way to go Danny. The never ending dictatorship at least is in good health.

  • Happy brains aren't
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Bones, I think you have it a bit backwards. Take the 6 hour wait you get any any hospital and add another 2 on it. At least in town if there's an emergency they can skip the 6 hours and get immediate care. Around the bay people will still have a 2 hour drive... you can cut the wait time, but you can't cut physical geography. Wonder how many people will actually die during that 2 hour drive?

  • Dr.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    It's a conspiracy theaory, to have all the elderly drive for hours for routine diagnostic checks and hopefully they will hit a moose & not need to be sucking our health care system dry. It's his way or no way.

  • Bones IV
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Two hour drive around the bay or 6 hour wait in town. Which do you prefer ? Stop whining.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    i'm not a danny fan, and thus this is not a defence on his character or anything of the sort but he probably doesn't read these comments boards so leaving posts that speak directly to danny are redundant and not only is it redundant, it's unncessary (joke) but seriously when you say (way to go danny) and (i hope you're happy with yourself danny) it has no effect on any possible opinion you could be trying to make. i mean i could yell at the pope but he wouldn't get the message.

    my main point is relax have a cup of tea or a puff of wee and then make your comments with a less hatefull mindset

  • Charlie Oliver
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Another busy day at work is it Bones my friend? Stuck in a go nowhere dead end job are you? Well Bones call the Premiers office he is looking for people just like you. Loyal obedient, when told to jump ask how high sir. You would fit right in. Minimal use of that old grey matter called a brain. Danny does all the thinking for you. You just do and say what he tells you to do and say. Your a natural for the job Bones. Better pay better working conditions. NO UNIONS Danny hates unions. remember the public sector strike a few years back Bones? Dannys son got into a bit of a misunderstanding at his bar down town and had his boyish looks re arranged. Danny blamed the union for that one. It had to be one of the Danny haters Bones. Really Bones my boy come up with some original material. You always resort to the same old fall back. Danny haters Danny haters all of us. I hate no one Bones my friend not even you. We all have opinions we dont always agree thats wht makes us unique. Unlike the Williams cabinet we are not all clones. Because I happen to hold a somewhat different opinion than someone else doesnt mean I hate that person Bones. It means that perhaps I hate their actions, I hate their decision making process, I hate being lied to constantly, I hate the cover ups. I DO NOT HATE THE PERSON. Thats old Bones. Move on my friend. Your loyalty to Premier Danny is commendable and I am quite sure does not go un noticed by the staff in his office. YES bones they actually do read this stuff. What actions ever come out of any of this is questionable at the least. With your dedication and ambition Bones you would be a natural fit. Then you would actually get paid very well to call us Danny haters. Now now dont get carried away I never said we love him either. That my boy we leave entirely up to you.. I dont have the time or desire to take on another venture such as that at this point in my life. By the way dont think for one minute that Danny needs you 24/7 total dedication and constant defence. the man is quite capable of defending himself. trust me I shold know. Why you choose to do it only you know. Whatever the reason thats your business but please young man please stop calling me and anyone else a Danny hater just because we sometimes question the mans actions. The real world both in personal and business affairs dosent work that way young man. Apparently though that seems to be the trend in your world. Have to run my next appointment will be here soon. Relax Bones take a deep breath and picture the world without Danny in it. Its really not such a bad place and we dont all hate him or you. Pitty would be a more fitting word, but I digress. Cheers Bones. Good luck with the job search.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Similar but so very different Stan. Cute though how you went out of your way to make spelling mistakes unlike the perfectionist Bones. I know by saying you two are the same person I probably insulted one or both of you. For that I am sincerely sorry to whoever reads this first. Related perhaps? Who knows.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I used to live an hour outside of St.John's. We would have to drive into town to have anything done, there were no facilities then, and none now. I understand that every little community wants to have their own gleaming clinic, paid for by the taxpayers of the province,but it is just not feasible. The populations of thses places are dwindling, healthcare needs to be centralized inorder to provide the best care. If you live in an outport you will have to drive to receive services, as simple as that.

  • Willi_makit
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Judging from the story and the comments, the government line is streamlining / rationalization and effective use of tax dollars - all admirable goals - but only if applied consistantly.
    Are all communities receiving similar treatment (pardon the pun) - or are the decisions purely arbitrary? Perhaps this so-called Danny Williams government would like to show us the policy that determines which communities get what services.

  • Jen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Taxpayer, (as if you're the only one here) why don't we take your logic a step further and rather than cut health services across the province, cut them across the country so that they will be centralized in the major cities to save you, the most exalted taxpayer even more. You wont mind going to Montreal or Toronto for services once available in St. John's. A cancer clinic in Halifax? Sorry, its just no longer feasible. Why does Yellowknife warrant a Respiratory Therapy clinic? Close it and let the blow-hards move to Vancouver. Imagine how much money we would save if we cut healthcare from places deemed no longer financially feasible. And if a few people die on the way, no matter, they probably werent financially feasible either. It will save YOU tax money -- and isnt that really what counts? I suppose you wouldnt mind cuts to the military either, eh?

  • Kevin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Repeat after me...we love danny...we love danny...we love danny. Happy now Bones? Now repeat after me again. We hate lies... we hate corruption...we hate living in a dictatorship. Hatred seems to be your department Bones we will leave that all up to you. Drink up the flavor of the day is lemon. Bitter hard to swallow and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Just like some of this governments actions lately.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Jen, I'm well aware that I am not the only taxpayer here, we all pay taxes, no matter who we are, and no I'm not exalted, as for military funding I have family in Afganistan as we speak. Being a taxpayer though, enables me to voice my thoughts about issues that are important to me.
    As to your analogy I think it is very weak. If a community is too small to warrant a hospital or a clinic, and all the costs associated, then it only makes good sense to place these facilities to a central area, so as to serve the entire community. I know many people who have to travel to larger centers on the mainland to get care, because it is not available here. This is just a fact of life. We have a tiny population in this province, about the same size as the suburb of Scarbourgh. We just don't have the money to provide all these services, even in St. John's. We have a 10 billion dollar debt load that we are passing on to our kids.
    Health care is tremendously expensive, and becomming moreso everyday. As a province we are approaching two thirds of our budget being spent on healthcare, soon to be three quarters. This simply cannot be sustained.
    Honestly, I would like nothing more than for every tiny town in our province to have hospitals and clinics, and MRI machines, and dyalisys machines, however someone has to pay for all this. Is it fair for those who had to move to the larger centers to subsidise the outport way of life? I had to sell my place by the sea and move to St.john's, not because I wanted to, but because I had to.It's called reality. The whole world is urbanizing not because it wants to, but because it has to. People want expensive services, that only larger centers can provide.
    My heart goes out to all those affected, but those living outside the overpass better be prepared for some reduction in all services as their populations get smaller and smaller. This goes for any community on the planet.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Chesley: I hope you hateful words make you feel better. Really, I do. 'Infested with yet another for of the Bones syndrome'? What's that? When you were a young lad 50 years ago, health care in this province was much, much worse, cheaper though, lol, I can assure you of that.

    Happy: Brains are not made of Bones, period. It has nothing to do with happy and I'm sure any of these people are quite welcome to move closer to any facility they are attached to, lol........if it makes them happy.

    Psuedo-Bones IV: I think Lewisporte's biggest problem is the jobs that will move and the convenience they will lose. It's important to remember that the needs of the many (province) outweigh the needs of the few (Lewisporte). Nobody seems to take any of the positive into account. Healthcare needs to be fixed in a bad way and no matter where it starts or who starts it, someone is going to have a problem with it.

    Jen: Are you really comparing a trip to another city in another province to a 2 hour drive to St. John's, Grand Falls, or Gander? Do you think this is about saving money, or streamlining many services under one roof? Why not go all out and suggest we head to another country altogether? lol

    Beverly: Hateful again, huh? Nothing new here. I was happy with how that issue was handled too, lol. You should get your pc checked, pop ups like that don't come from google searches. Maybe Danny is after putting something on your computer?! I wish I knew a good shop to recommend.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Well Bones returns with a name this time Stan Darsh. The twin brother perhaps. By starting off saying your not a Danny fan thats the first clue. A friend of mine works at Confederation Building Stan Bones and yes they listen to the talk shows the monitor the newspapers and the web sites. There are staff members whos main job is to do just that. It does reach the premiers office. Does he really care? Not a chance in hell. Lay off the puff of wee Stan Bones your wee brain seems to be allready fried. Thats just one of many side affects of that nasty addiction. Stay healthy Stan Bones because with the split personality you have treatment may be hard to come by these days. I think what your trying to say is that speaking to Danny through this media outlet is like trying to speak to Stan Bones. A lost cause no matter how you try and do it. Not open for discussion. Right about everything and the rest of the world is always wrong. Hatefull mindset? When is your new book coming out Stan Bones? REVENGE OF THE DANNY HATERS. You do seem to be the resident expert on that topic.

  • SouthCoast
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Lab and x-Ray services are crucial, basic health care needs. You mean to tell me that its acceptable for people to travel an hour and a half for an x-ray. This province has an aging population, which increases the need for services, not eliminate them. What's next, people having to travel 2 hours to see a doctor for a cold? The people of the region shouldn't let the government simply bull this through. Where are the MHAs for these regions? Inexcusable!!!

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    When all the Health Care boards amalgamated into four super boards, this was just something that was bound to happen. The bottom line of any corporation is to streamline things, increase productivity, increase profit, and decrease expenditures. The staff in the hospitals found out years ago that they are now only a number to these big businesses, as evidenced by the sick leave policies that have been put in place - one policy fits all, be you someone working in an office setting, away from patient contact, or a frontline worker, exposed every day that they work, to whatever viruses or sicknesses that are on the go. THe staff are all the same to these corporations, with no consideration given as to where they work, or their conditions of work.

    Why are people so suprised that this is starting to happen? Think about some other places. People in places like Trepassey or St Mary's have to travel a long time, over 2 hrs, to get x ray services and bloodwork done. Streamlining has begun, and it will continue, eventually, even though there will be objections. There will be studies done ( if they're not already in place) that will show a declining need for such services in every little nook and cranny. It will be done by whoever is in government, because the cost associated with keeping those services will far outstrip the need for them. Wait and see. Closing the emergency services in an area on the Burin Peninsula for the summer, closing X-Ray services in Lewisporte - it's all connected, and the bottom line is the almighty dollar-costs associated with keeping those places open. More to come, of that you can be sure.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Frank Barter from NL, i enjoy the tint of humor in that last post. see, everything doesn't have to be all serious and up-in-arms about everything. sometimes the confrontational approach is unnecessary. it is possible, i guess, to mistake the non-hatred for danny as being bones-like but i assure you, we do not know each other... well at least i don't know him/her. they may know me and if so i say, GET OUT OF MY BUSHES. but i allways considered myself anti-danny...well not so much anti-danny but not pro-danny. my stepmother worships the ground he walks on and i can't fathom that. it seems this danny movement is more like a cult than a political party. i don't mesh well with mindless following. plus i'm not too blind or stupid to see and understand the double standard once you pass the overpass. if anything i'd be like 55% anti-danny with his record so far, but i can't say he's been completely bad either. at least we don't have double daylight savings time or giant greenhouses filled with bloody cucumbers...hmm... maybe i will change my name to bloody cucumbers...nah

  • Beverly
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Let me guess I bet our resident Danny lover Bones will soon be here defending the premiers actions on this one as well. He has to be the premiers Public Relations Officer. No other reason for the garbage he spews out. None that I can see anyway. Has this province ever had a real revolution, well my friends we are on the brink of one and all because of the Williams one man show dictatorship. NO BONES I dont hate Danny. Hate is a word not used on people who have no control over their self centred ego driven actions. The man is out of controll he needs our help not out hatred. He has your full support Bones and I am sure that means a lot to him. While doing a google search a few days ago, work related of course, wink wink all of a sudden a pop up on my screen asked ARE YOU SATASFIED WITH THE WAY PREMIER DANNY WILLIAMS HANDLED THE SEVERANCE PACKAGES FOR THE LAID OFF MILL WORKERS IN GRAND FALLS WINSOR? Well dahhh. YES I am. Does that mean I worship and adore the man? Well dahhh NO. That simple agreement with an action of our beloved premier all of a sudden shows up as a 75 or 80 percent approval rateing of the great man. Numbers can be made to show whatever you want them to show. Just ask a good accountant. Wink Wink. This man takes power control and ego to new levels. My question is. DO WE REALLY LOVE IT ALL THAT MUCH?

  • frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    here we go again. what happened to the very expensive health boards? this again proves that health boards have no function and cost a fortune.

  • I reads and
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    What do you want next ? A CAT Scan for every community ? We use fundraisers to subsidize these big items. Get your communities together and come up with a few 100 grand and then we'll talk. What's that you say ? The population of your community is not big enough to support these items ? And the fact that almost all these communities have their youth leaving which means the populations are in decline ? Oh yeah, sounds like a great use of money.

    Prove your community is growing and maybe, just maybe, you might have a point.

    By the way, NO ONE WILL DIE if you have to wait another 2 hours for an x-ray or blood work (blood work takes a week to get back). Try getting into a hospital in town with the huge line-ups for little cuts on people's fingers. You can be there all day and then be told to come back tomorrow - they are just too busy. Get your facts correct, you're already ahead of the curve.

    But if it really bothers you that there is no school in your area for your children, no grocery store, no employment or no specialized medical services that you personally require due to a KNOWN serious medical condition, then MOVE.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Frank Barter from NL, sorry braugh like dude yer totally misTOKEing there frank buddy. no bones here. only fat and hair. i do my own yammering under the pseudonym from a south park episode. trust me. if i have something to say it will always be under Stan Darsh. Secondly i'm not a big fan of Danny, but that is simply because i'm not a fan of blindly following anything. i like to challenge any authoritative figures ideals. same goes for religon. think before you believe. but as far as Danny goes, i am currently in the process of moving to st. john's so why would i have a problem with him now? he's kinda like stephen harper in a way. if st. john's is to newfoundland what ontario is to canada then they seem pretty similar! but seriously i think one of the bones characters will agree that them is them and me is me

  • Lorraine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    All the commentaries today are focused on the premise that this move will save the government money. Minister Oram has publically stated that cost saving was not the issue here- just improving service. How is it improving service to tie the hands of local doctors and impeding the diagnosis of their patients. Give the doctors the tools they need to help their patients...this is not a mri or a cat scan but a simple x-ray machine that is used constantly and a rate of 25 patients a day, 6000 scans a year! Convince me, Minister Oram that this will improve health care delivery!! I don't think you can.