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Medical Labs: An Open Letter to Dalton McGuinty

(October 8, 2010) Today Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson wrote an open letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to express his very serious concerns with the closure of medical laboratories in Tottenham, Stayner and Elmvale.  Read on for a copy of Jim's letter to the Premier.

October 8, 2010

The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, MPP
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario  M7A 1A8

Dear Premier:

I am writing to express my concern with the consolidation of medical laboratories in my riding.  The closure of facilities in Tottenham, Stayner and Elmvale is having an adverse effect not only on the people in those communities, but also those serviced by labs in other areas of my riding.

With the closure of the Gamma-Dynacare laboratory in Tottenham, my constituents now have to travel to either Bolton or Alliston to receive the same service.  Not only do they have to travel further, they also have to endure longer line-ups at those facilities because of the consolidation of services at those locations.

In Stayner, LifeLabs decided to close their local facility and force people in Clearview Township to travel to either Collingwood or Wasaga Beach – again, a longer drive for medical care and longer line-ups for everyone in all of those communities.

Next is Elmvale where the Georgian Bay General Hospital has closed their twice a week service.  Elmvale residents now have to travel all the way to Midland, pay for parking at the hospital and wait hours for care.  All of this is obviously completely unacceptable to me and the people who rely on these services and their families.

I am a user of these facilities and I know how long the line-ups can be.  Now they are just going to get longer.  When my parents were alive, I can’t imagine how we would have managed had they not had a blood lab in their hometown of Alliston.  There was no way in their final months that they could have travelled any great distances.  But now that is exactly what the people of Tottenham, Clearview and Elmvale must do.  What an unnecessary hardship for everyone involved.

As Premier of Ontario, you are responsible for providing timely access to medical care for everyone, including those in small town Ontario.  I am urging you to direct your Minister of Health to immediately put in place a plan to return these services to these communities.

I appreciate your prompt attention to this very important matter and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Jim Wilson, MPP
Simcoe-Grey


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