I am writing about the soon to be loss of lab/x-ray services in Lewisporte and Flowers Cove. I am a nurse from the West Coast and could not stand by without speaking out about this, so on behalf of all nurses in Newfoundland I advocate for the large number of people who will be adversely affected by this latest government planned cut back.
I have had the opportunity to talk to many people who are using these services and they are worried about how this is going to make their lives more difficult. Among these people are low income, elderly and handicapped who badly need x-ray and lab services but some will not be able to access them because of lack of money for taxi, etc. expense to go to larger centers.
Gander and Grand Falls lab/x-ray staff find it difficult to complete the work they already have and now will have a great deal more to handle once the extra services are gone. I have not heard any plans to expand the facilities/staff in these larger centers when the workload increases. I have been reading the news articles to find out if this is the case but so far have not found any mention of this. Doctors, nurses and others in the health care system will work to reverse this decision. We have a responsibility to make it clear that we will not stand by and let this government add to hardships that Newfoundland patients already endure.
There are many examples of adverse affects that this downgrade of health services will have on patients not the least of which will be the delay in treatment that this will create and a delay in treatment is well known to be detrimental to health. The adverse affects strongly outweigh the benefits to Newfoundlanders that the health minister has talked about. We, the hospital staff see first hand what this kind of cut does to patients and we ask the Minister of Health to put a stop to it now.