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Trenton residents rally to protest proposed hospital cuts

By April Lawrence

Community members and officials gathered outside of Trenton Memorial Hospital yesterday to show their concern about the proposed changes for the hospital.

Over the course of an hour over 100 people stepped out and braved the cold to speak out against cuts to the health care facility in Trenton. A similar rally was held at Belleville General Hospital.

Sally Freeman, a councilor from the City of Quinte West, organized the rally in Trenton.

“We’re really afraid of what we’ll be missing here when this $10 million is pulled,” said Freeman.

It was proposed that five beds, outpatient therapy services, a change in available lab services and potentially sending emergency patients directly to Belleville when necessary be changed at the hospital.

Freeman said the goal of the rally was to get the attention of Minister of Health Deb Matthews. With the cuts, Trenton would lose five more beds bringing them down to 25 beds.

Susan Rowe, the Quinte Health Care Director of Communications said the Ministry of Health’s action plan is moving a lot of services normally seen in hospitals to other providers in the community.  Quinte Health Care has been hearing concerns and comments from the communities that will be affected by the changes.

“We need to hear all of those voices to ensure that we’re making the best possible decisions, given the financial resources that we have available.”

City of Quinte West Mayor John Williams said Quinte Health Care needs to understand how important it is for the services to stay at Trenton Memorial Hospital. He said the rally is important to raise awareness and make sure people know how important keeping the services is.