HANOVER – The overnight closure of Walkerton’s emergency room will have ripple effects.
Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody has made note of the impact on ambulance service in the county, as well as the local fire department and police. All could be required to leave their coverage area, should a patient have to be transported to the hospital in Hanover. When a firefighter accompanies a patient in the ambulance, which does happen, a vehicle would have to be sent to pick up the person.
Michael Barrett, CEO of South Bruce Grey Health Centre, is also aware of the wider impact and spoke about it during the virtual panel discussion on Dec. 15.
Barrett’s Hanover counterpart, Dana Howes, acknowledges the impact, and said, “The situation that South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SGBHC), Walkerton site, is facing is very unfortunate not only for the residents of that area, but also for the staff and physicians of that hospital. Hanover and District Hospital (HDH) will work closely with our SBGHC partners to ensure that patients of our collective regions, and beyond, can access care when they need it the most. We will work together through this local health system challenge.”
Howes went on to assure people of the area – both in Hanover and Brockton – that despite this most recent challenge to local health care, the staff at the Hanover hospital will ensure that people continue to have access to emergency care, and asks for patience on the part of people waiting for treatment. “The closure of the emergency department in Walkerton is not without impact to HDH. Our physician group works tirelessly as do our staff to support our already busy emergency department, and other hospital services. However, HDH will rise to the occasion to support our region. We ask that the public be patient and respectful to our hardworking and dedicated staff – they are tired, but will continue to ensure that the region has access to emergency care.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times