Hospital site : Aylmer deserves better
Last year, Francois Legault’s government put forward their plan to re-organize regional health services. The Hull and Wakefield Hospitals would no longer be proper hospitals. Hull would become an administrative facility and Wakefield, geriatric rehabilitation. That means all of the West of our region would go without a hospital (except Shawville). The new 600-bed site would be in Hull or Aylmer.
Since then, the region has been wondering where this hospital would go. Aylmer doesn’t have a hospital. It’s a growing sector with growing needs. However, the CAQ government seems set on a site on de la Technologie Blvd., in an industrial park near Chelsea. For Aylmer residents, this is the furthest possible site! It seems government has discarded all other sites, without any explanations, reasons, or the criteria for selecting de la Technologie Blvd. This site is so far from Aylmer that newspapers have reported on the possibility that government would build a highway through Boucher Forest and Gatineau Park to connect to the new site. This is ridiculous. The Liberal Party of Quebec, the Chamber of Commerce, environmental groups, public transit groups, all of Gatineau Municipal Council and many others, have called on government to explain their decision, to consult the population, to hear our concerns.
I have met with the Health Board’s Director in charge of identifying and analyzing sites; I joined a press conference with the groups opposed to the de la Technologie Blvd. site; I have called upon the Minister of Health. Even so, government refuses to say why they are choosing this site. I will continue to put pressure on this.
Nobody gets this decision. It should have been so simple: close to people, quickly accessible, especially for those, like Aylmerites, who have no local options.
Choosing the furthest site from Aylmer, without consulting our population, without explaining the decision, is unacceptable and unthinkable. Aylmer patients deserve better than such an ill-advised decision. Like everyone else, we deserve quality, easily accessible services.
MNA for Pontiac