Letters of the Day: On Hospital Funding, Home Care and Fitness



Friday October 1: You can also write to us at lettres@ottawacitizen.com

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Hospital funding details vague

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The city’s planning and heritage committees are reviewing the master plan for the new Civic Hospital campus today, but will have only summary details on the cost and funding of our new hospital.

The cost of $ 2.8 billion is seriously underestimated. The six-year-old Oakville Hospital cost $ 2.7 billion and is 900,000 square feet smaller. In addition, $ 700 million, or 25 percent of the cost, must be covered locally. “Locally” means that every penny will be collected by the hospital. Elsewhere in Ontario, cities raise funds through debt, special levies and taxes. Not Ottawa. Our mayor has built up support by keeping taxes low and apparently doesn’t want a much-needed hospital to tarnish that reputation. $ 700 million is a huge additional burden on hospital fundraising and can increase as costs rise.

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Yes, we need a hospital, but like the site decision, the finances are covered in secrecy and contradiction. Citizens need to know how the huge local financial commitment to build our new hospital will be covered. The province needs to know what its real fiscal responsibility is.

I predict costs will rise, the hospital will be unable to increase its share, and the city will magnanimously save the day by (reluctantly) raising taxes. It’s a smart political end.

Valérie Swinton, Ottawa

We must save home care

Re: “We need help”: Home care in Ontario – the backbone of the health care system – faces staffing crisis on September 29.

While long-term care is finally gaining attention and financial support after decades of underfunding, home care has been forgotten. It is an essential part of not only the provincial equation but also the national health care equation.

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It is imperative to ensure that people, many of whom have complex medical needs, move from one stage to the next in a transparent manner so that there is no deadlock to prevent the proper care required. This must be done in a timely manner, otherwise our healthcare system will become untenable and ultimately lead to many unnecessary deaths.

This crisis has been made worse by both the COVID pandemic and the aging of the population, and has resulted in thousands of delayed medical appointments and surgeries. If we don’t act, our health care system will fail.

So please, the powers that be, heed our urgent calls for help and provide the necessary direction and guidance before it is too late.

Keith Sheldrick, Almonte

How about removing the tax on sports equipment?

Re: Fitness for everyone; Simple strategies could help Canadians move more regularly on September 27.

I agree with Jill Barker’s article and her suggestions for increasing the number of people who engage in personal physical activity.

However, she failed to mention that the two governments could do their part by not charging us taxes on all sports equipment and services. Their lost income could be recouped many times over through savings in health care costs.

Larry Ross, Ottawa



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