Open letter to South Bruce Grey Health Centre

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to the South Bruce Grey Health Centre, addressed to Meghan Legge, communications, engagement and patient experience manager.

Dear Meghan,

I am writing this to your attention in response to the many complaints and concerns regarding the diminishing health care and lack thereof in your emergency department.

I first moved to Walkerton back in the mid ‘90s from Toronto and was immediately impressed with the quality of health care in such a small town. Quick attention and processing a patient in a timely manner was first-rate, with never any issues. Even with the horrific water crisis of 2000, the health unit performed over and above its duties. This event was well-documented by the various media and put our town on the map. Government support became critical in assisting the town throughout the ordeal and all seemed to be on a fairly even playing field in terms of patient to doctor ratio.

That level of care has since declined, whether through cutbacks or the pandemic, always an excuse or onus on some other failure, usually of the government. I see this failure as a direct result of the hospital’s over-indulgence on administrative funds, rather than allocating to areas such as the emergency department where more than one doctor on site, not on call, should be the norm. Recently (past two weeks), I can cite two separate occasions when patients were admitted to emerg, then remained in the waiting room for up to five hours until being seen or processed. Both situations involved patients with severe pain. These are typical complaints that need to be addressed by your board. In some cases, I have heard that patients would rather go to the emerg in Hanover where a quicker response is common knowledge.

The fact that not one of your members is a resident of Walkerton is shocking and totally ineffective in terms of representation. Your board needs to be accountable to the local residents and endeavour to re-structure and facilitate what your purpose and mandate requires.


Martha Englishman