I’d like to draw Health minister Elizabeth Witmer’s attention to the serious lack of services as to hemo-dialysis in this area.
Our closest unit is in Kenora, a three-hour drive from here. Then again, it’s fully used so we have no access to it. Our next choices are Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, about a four to five-hour drive to either one. Winnipeg is running into an overload situation so they can’t be relied on to always accommodate persons from this area. That only leaves Thunder Bay as a choice for us.
However, with the travelling involved, it has meant that a patient must move to get treatment.
It’s not reasonable to expect a sick patient to spend up to 10 hours on the road three times a week. As our roads and weather here do not allow us to rely on these services, a move to Thunder Bay is necessary.
To uproot a family member to move to Thunder Bay for health services usually means moving the whole family, which is traumatic as well as usually upsets any income this family may be able to earn. And this at a time when the family finances are stretched to the limit.
Dr. Bill McCready, the nephrologist from Thunder Bay, has been up and viewed the situation here. He sees the need for setting up a satellite unit in the area and is willing to oversee such a unit. All that is needed is Mrs. Witmer’s support to establish it.
I understand La Verendrye hospital here has space, and is anxious to accommodate such a unit. We trust Mrs. Witmer will look into this matter at her earliest convenience, and will see our needs and move to rectify a serious need in this area.
Hugh C. Masson
P.S. The above letter has been sent to Mrs. Witmer, Premier Mike Harris, and NDP leader Howie Hampton. Just so that they really get the message, we are trying to get as many people as possible to phone to the minister to concentrate the message.
We are proposing that this effort be concentrated by phone on June 22-24. This way the message is delivered loud and clear. The phone number is 1-416-327-4300. You can call collect so there is no personal cost to you except your time.
If you have any questions, please phone Aage Rude at 274-5594 or myself at 487-2663. Good luck and hopefully we are successful.