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Task force on opioids to hold first meeting in September, says health unit official

A task force led by the health unit involving local police, Northumberland Hills Hospital, and emergency services (fire and paramedics) will take place in September. It is being called the first step in addressing the opioid crisis in Northumberland County. There will also be an effort by a tri-county group tasked with formulating a drug strategy for the area to engage the community and front-line workers, addicts and families, to build a comprehensive response. Megan Deyman, the Coordinator of the Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland Drug Strategy, and Catherine MacDonald, substances and harm reduction coordinator at the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit talk at length about these and other measures. But provincial cuts to the health unit and grants to the drug strategy group are hanging in the balance, threatening these and other initiatives to fight opioids in the community. Continue Reading →

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Caring in a crisis – hospital emergency and mental health leaders on opioids in Northumberland

 

So far in the series on Opioids in Northumberland, we have heard from law enforcement and the role they play on the front lines. Today, we are about to hear more from those in the field dealing with this issue directly. It would be hard to imagine anyone who sees the impact more than doctors and addiction counsellors. They experience first-hand the horrific consequences of opioid overdoses and addictions. And, while there may be some who they can pull back from the edge, there are also those who do not make it. Continue Reading →

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Two former addicts share stories of path to recovery from opioid and drug addiction

It is one thing to hear from officials about opioids in Northumberland County. But it is quite another to hear from people who have walked through the darkness of opioid addiction. Today, my guests have undertaken that journey and continue to walk the path towards recovery and a life without drugs. Now, before you start creating an image in your mind about these people, they are not stereotypical. In fact, one is a prominent politician and the other a new Canadian. Continue Reading →

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Major funding announcement to tackle opioids in Northumberland coming in fall, says MPP

Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini said his government will be addressing the opioid in Northumberland this fall. He also talks about funding health care, the new mandate for the autism advisory panel, funding for the Northumberland Legal Clinic, along with the future of the health unit. Please listen to the full interview. Originally aired: August 2, 2019 Continue Reading →

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New health centre next to hospital under consideration, says CEO

Northumberland Hills Hospital is considering a new health centre to be built on lands next to its location on DePalma Drive within the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Linda Davis said during an interview on Consider This. Looking ahead to the future of health care in the region, Davis suggested a health centre could be created to provide space for specialists who come to the area, along with other services related to hospital care. This would give room for the expansion of services like dialysis and chemotherapy in the main building, she said. The hospital tried to create a medical arts building on the same property in 2015, but it was unable to organize the necessary financing. The Northumberland Medical Arts Inc., a not-for-profit corporation was established to develop, build and operate the facility on property owned by Northumberland Hills Hospital. Continue Reading →

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Ontario Health Coalition provides insightful critique of local response to health care changes

Ontario Health Coalition board member Sara LaBelle gives a passionate rebuttal to the provincial government’s proposed changes to the health care system. Beyond the arguments against privatization and a stern warning against the new powers included in the legislation, LaBelle delivers a warning to Northumberland residents about potential changes locally. She provides steps residents can take to make their views known, as well. Continue Reading →

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Government changes to health care system leave community health leader hopeful

 

Community Health Care Northumberland Executive Director Duff Sprague remains cautiously optimistic as the Ontario government’s proposed changes to the health care system unfold. He is proud of the work already taking place between the various service providers, but there is still more work to be done. He hopes a recent meeting with health minister Christine Elliott in Northumberland will help make the region a potential choice for a pilot program for the government. Continue Reading →

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Hospital continues to operate over capacity, but everyone is getting care, says NHH CEO

The hospital continues to operate over capacity, placing stresses on its ability to deal with patients in the emergency room, Northumberland Hills Hospital Executive Director Linda Davis says. In an interview with Consider This Northumberland,  she said the hospital currently fills 135 per cent of its beds, meaning it has one-third more people than the hospital can afford to operate. While it has received an additional $250,000 in funding from the Ontario government to open four more beds, it is not enough, Davis said, but the hospital works hard to ensure nobody is without care. In a series of candid answers, Davis outlined the challenges and successes of the hospital as it prepares for the proposed changes announced by the provincial government recently. She addresses directly complaints raised in the local news media about hallway medicine. Continue Reading →

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Hybrid health care is one of 10 things to save Canada’s system, says author

A two-tiered health care is one of several things necessary to repair what is wrong, says Stephen Skyvington, author of a new book titled This May Hurt a Bit: reinventing Canada’s health care system. In an interview with Consider This Northumberland, Skyvington gives his critique of the Ontario government’s recent proposals to overhaul the province’s system, as well as dissecting the Canada Health Care Act. He goes on to provide his 10 fixes as recommendations to those in charge as to what can be done to change things right now. Continue Reading →

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Cobourg mom shares life caring for autistic son and her fight against proposed funding changes

 

Cobourg mom Kristen Ellison is an outspoken critic of a proposal from the Ontario government to fund 23,000 autistic children on waiting lists currently. Her eight-year-old son, Carter, already receives funding to help cover the approximately $90,000 annual costs for support services. Families will be eligible for up to $20,000 a year for children under 6 — up to a lifetime maximum of $140,000. Children older than that can access up to $5,000 a year up to age 18, to a lifetime maximum of $55,000. The changes are slated to begin on April 1. Continue Reading →

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