Sudbury letters: Health-care fight continues; donating blood

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We need to keep up health-care fight

For too long, Sudbury has been woefully lacking when it comes to seniors’ health care. The Sudbury Star story (July 26) about the harrowing journey of Kathy Holz’s mother through our local health-care system triggered flashbacks of an eerily similar nightmare that one of our parents endured more than a decade ago.

That, and the too familiar, tragic system issues our friend, Carol Mulligan, reportedly faced are at once as maddening as they are heartbreaking.

Carol was our beloved community champion who steadfastly persisted in giving voice and hope to all of us out here who are trying to do our little bit to drive a health-care system that is respectful of seniors’ needs. Just the day before her surgery, she wrote us to, “keep on fighting the good fight” and said she planned to re-join us in our efforts in the fall.

Well, it’s the fall and sadly Carol is no longer with us. And the health-care walls we’ve tried to scale for more than a decade still seem as insurmountable as they did when we first began.

Carol’s and Kathy’s stories echo persistent, unrelenting problems, underscoring the fact that despite our efforts, leaders haven’t found solutions to the structural, process and staffing issues that have plagued Sudbury’s health-care system for two decades.

And until now, it seems to us that those leaders have failed to adequately recognize and mine the valuable insights of those who have lived through the frustrations of getting the proper care. There needs to be a real effort to ask people who have actually endured our system’s harshness about how to fix things.

According to statistics, those of us older than 60 are soon to make up 25 per cent of Sudbury’s population. City council has been striving to make ours an “age-friendly community” as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

And according to the WHO, “an adequate range of health and community support services … for promoting, maintaining and restoring health,” is an essential feature of age-friendly cities. Sudbury can’t truly be age-friendly as long as stories like Carol’s and Kathy’s and yours and ours continue.

Our city council’s Senior Advisory Panel is hosting a seniors’ summit next month where they want ordinary people like you/us to come and identify the concerns facing older adults and their caregivers. For those who have seen first-hand what’s wrong with health care in this town, and who have ideas about how to make it right, it could be a real opportunity to finally drive solutions.

We want to put Kathy’s and Carol’s and all of our grief to purpose, so we plan to encourage everyone we know to be there to “keep on fighting the good fight,” just as Carol urged. Please join us.

Nancy Johnson and Roma Smith

Co-chairs Grand Family Council City of Greater Sudbury

 

Is donor’s blood really valued? 

During the summer, I discovered through local media that Canadian Blood Services (CBS) will be closing its clinics in North Bay in January 2020. I phoned them for their reasoning and could not get an explanation that made sense. They stated that efficiencies in Sudbury will improve their collections. I explained that cutting off a city of 50,000 people seemed counter to that logic. In the end, we agreed to disagree.

And today, I received an email from CBS explaining how critical my donations have been and how they value me and really want me to come out and donate. Really, CBS? I’m struggling to see how you value my donation when you decided last month that I will have to take a day off work and drive to Sudbury if I wish to donate next year. I should mention that I have been a blood donor for 39 years and have almost 100 donations over these years, so I truly value being a blood donor.

So, Canadian Blood Services, if you truly value my donation, perhaps you should find a way to make it possible for me to continue giving. I’m ready at a moment’s notice to help out.

Jeff Francom 

North Bay

 

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