From the Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition
On April 18 this year The Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) posted a notice in the legal section of the weekly Metroland corporate newspaper. The notice stated that the hospital will apply to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to enact special legislation to change its name to “Ross Memorial Hospital” (dropping “the”), as well as “change its objects, its powers, the composition of its board and membership, and to repeal certain existing Acts.”
The community should be aware that this notice fulfills a legal obligation on the part of the hospital and is not an independent, good faith effort to inform the public on the potential changes to their local hospital. The opaque language, containing no detailed information, represents potentially significant changes in local health care services as provided by The Ross Memorial Hospital.
By communicating with the hospitals legal representatives (Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, a national law firm) Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition (KLHC) has learned more. The proposed special act is intended to, among other things: “confirm the legal purposes for which the Hospital exists”, “confirms that the Hospital has all the capacity and powers of a natural person,” and “repeal the prior legislation governing the existence of the Hospital so there is a clear single source document moving forward.”
In response to these stated intentions, the Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition asks the community to consider the following: Why do the legal purposes of the Hospital need to be “confirmed,” if the purposes are already established? Why should the hospital acquire (not just confirm) the status of a natural person, when such status removes the well established requirement for the hospital to confer with the Ontario Legislature? Why does the hospital leadership feel that having a single source document represents adequate justification to repeal existing legislation, some of which has been law for over a century?
The KLHC and the community at large can only operate on the information that is readily available, but given the serious nature of affecting public healthcare, one of the jewels of Canadian society, we question the reason for minimal notification and no public consultation.
On Wednesday May 22 at 6 pm the Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition will be hosting a meeting to discuss and inform the community on this proposed special legislation. The meeting will be held at Lindsay Recreational Complex in the Community Room at 133 Adelaide St. South. Please plan to attend.