Wait for dialysis in Collingwood reaching crisis level
(February 23, 2011) Jim Wilson says the waiting list for dialysis in Collingwood is at a “crisis level” and has asked the Minister of Health to clear the backlog right away. The Simcoe-Grey MPP made the request to the McGuinty Government in Question Period this morning.“It’s sad that the Minister of Health isn’t showing the level of respect that I would expect for the local families whose loved ones depend on this lifesaving treatment,” said Wilson. “Think of the number of times that local roads have been closed this winter. Think of the people who don’t have family members to take them to appointments. This is a lifesaving service. It’s depressing to think that some patients are not able to make the drive to Barrie or Orillia because of dangerous winter road conditions.”
Wilson was responsible for establishing the satellite dialysis clinic in Collingwood during his term as Health Minister in the mid-1990s. The local MPP waged a multi-year campaign to have the clinic built, as well as one in Alliston and others throughout the province, so that families wouldn’t have to travel outside of the local area for this lifesaving treatment.
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has six dialysis machines that operate six days a week, Monday to Saturday, and three evenings a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At all other times, the machines sit empty while patients are forced to drive long distances to Barrie and Orillia. The hospital has applied to the government for funding to clear the backlog, although no funding has been approved to date.
“This is a crisis,” said Wilson. “Every day that we wait for the government to fix this is another day that takes a toll on dialysis patients and their families.”