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Defenders of Trenton Memorial Hospital decide on name

By Mark Hodgins [1]

BELLEVILLE – “Our TMH” is now the official name for the group fighting for the Trenton Memorial Hospital.

Quinte Health Care [2], the corporation that oversees the hospitals in Trenton, Belleville, Bancroft and Picton, is facing a projected $12-million budget shortfall this fiscal year. According to the Local Health Integration Network [3], which distributes provincial funding to health-care organizations, cuts are probably coming to Trenton Memorial to make up for the deficit.

That isn’t sitting well with many in the Trenton community, says Our TMH organizer Mike Cowan. The appointed point man of the group, as he called himself with a laugh, Cowan says that even though QHC is vehemently denying the possibility of closing Trenton Memorial, he’s worried for the future.

“It’s a slow leaking tire,” said Cowan, who added that he worries that consistent cuts will lead to the eventual closure of the hospital. “We have to fight back,” he said. “We have to push back.”

The group had its third meeting on Monday, where it decided on the name and the slogan “Our community, our TMH, our hospital.” A group has been assembled to look into past cuts at Belleville General Hospital to see how QHC has made cuts before, Cowan said.

Cowan is calling for Our TMH to “energize people, and get them saying, ‘Why is this happening?’ ”

The group’s next meeting, which is open to the public, happens Thursday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m. in the Quinte West council chambers.