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Medical Labs Update - December 1, 2010

Dear Constituents: We're making progress.  Let me update you on where we are at this week on the medical laboratory issue.

Let's look at Stayner and Wasaga Beach first.  LifeLabs has proposed a solution that would see an eventual expansion of their existing location in Wasaga Beach.  It's long overdue, but very good news.  In the meantime, LifeLabs has proposed to restore, on a temporary basis, the lab in Stayner.  We don't know when, where or what the hours will be, but that is the current commitment.

I'm happy to see progress, but from all of the feedback I have received to date, most people in Clearview Township agree that restoring the services on a temporary basis is not enough.  We need a permanent restoration of services in Stayner -- at least a few days per week.

We already know that it costs $70 to $80 to take a taxi from Creemore to the Wasaga Beach lab and back, and we all know what our rural winter roads can be like.  If you have other transportation stories that will help prove my point, please send me an email.

Let's review Elmvale next.  As residents know, the Georgian Bay General Hospital delivered a 100% cut in frontline health services to the people of Elmvale when they decided to close their Elmvale Specimen Collection Centre in September.  I've asked the CEO of the hospital what is needed to restore this service, and I am currently awaiting a response.

Around Elmvale there are petitions at Whitfield's Drug Store, at Steelers Restaurant and at Coffee Time, just to name a few.  I want to thank Focus Elmvale for all of their efforts in getting the word out.  It's great to see so much community support.  It is helping.

Let's also take a look at Tottenham.  I am cautiously optimistic that we will see a return of services in Tottenham.  Gamma-Dynacare has said that they want to help us solve this problem and they have presented me with a variety of options that they are investigating.  I will report back to you on this when I hear a final proposal.

Finally, I want you to know that yesterday I sent another package to the Minister of Health that included copies of recent emails and letters I have received and a brief synopsis of some of the recent phone calls my office has taken on this issue.  In my letter I made it clear to the Minister that our primary stipulation is that services must be returned to Tottenham, Stayner and Elmvale.

In closing I just want to say thank you for your help.  We are making progress, but it's not over yet.  Please keep sending me petitions and emailing me your experiences.  You can also help by forwarding this email to your neighbours, your co-workers or family members who might also be affected by these closures.

On my recent telephone town hall, 56% of participants told me this issue affects their family.  That's a lot of people and we need to reach each and every one of them to be effective.  This will not be over until the labs are open and the line-ups reduced.

Thank you again for your support.

Sincerely,

Jim Wilson, MPP                                     
Simcoe-Grey

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