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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Presented without further comment from the public record

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr. Roland. Members, I have a request pursuant to section 20(1), the rules of the Legislative Assembly, from the Member of Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen, to rise on a point of personal privilege to explain a matter that came out in the media this morning. I will turn the floor over to Mrs. Groenewegen.

Point Of Privilege

MRS. GROENEWEGEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, last week in this House, I had questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services regarding the conditions that I observed at the Stanton Territorial Hospital obstetrics unit. This was reported in the media. I invited Mr. Roland to accompany me on a tour of the facility. He declined. I subsequently invited his deputy, who suggested that I just go and meet with the CEO personally and do a tour of the hospital with her.

Mr. Speaker, this is a Hay River issue because it is called Stanton Territorial Hospital and my obstetrics patients from Hay River have no choice but to go to that obstetrics unit to receive care to deliver their babies. I stand by every observation that I made in this House that day. I don’t care if the CEO of Stanton Hospital gets on the radio and refutes everything I said. What I said is true. I have a right and a privilege to stand up in this House and raise those issues. I do not appreciate being contradicted by somebody who works there. I did take the time to constructively go and walk through that unit with her and point out the things that I observed and even offered to come back and assist with redecorating, reorganizing, do something to improve the conditions there.

Mr. Speaker, I am very sad to say that this individual took the opportunity in the media, which is playing in my community all day today on CJCD Radio, that she went and checked it out and none of the things that I said were accurate or viable. I am sorry. That is a challenge to my credibility and is a contradiction of what I stood and said in this House and I stand by every one of them. Just for the record, I would be happy to go over them again.

I will still ask the Minister, or anybody else who doesn’t believe me, to come down there. I should have taken a picture when I had my camera there so I would have a record of it. I don’t know what kind of standards we are operating under there. I even told the CEO. I said there were more things that I didn’t feel appropriate to bring up on the floor of this House, but let me tell you, there was blood on the wall. There was a plastic bottle in the delivery room from the previous patient covered with blood when my daughter-in-law checked into that room before she ever went into that washroom. I looked at it. My daughter-in-law said, take a picture of that. I said, it is not what we are here about. We are here about a new baby. Let’s just keep our cameras poised on her. Anyway, there was blood on the wall and on things left in the washroom for the next patient. There was flaking paint. There were repairs to the wall with drywall mud that had never been sanded or repainted. The curtains were hung on every second hook with half of the hem hanging down. If you weren’t depressed when you went to the hospital, you would be by the time you sat there for a few days and stared at that.

As to the issue of the dead plants, I was told that they had a staff program where they allow the staff to winter their garden plants in the hospital to keep them alive until next spring when they can replant them in their garden. She says the plants are watered and they are green. They are not watered and green. They are probably full of bugs. I mean, this is a hospital. Most hospitals don’t even allow live plants in a hospital, never mind ones that the staff dug out of their garden that are dirty, mouldy, buggy and sitting in a hospital. That was the one thing that I got a lot of pushback on. I’m sorry. This hospital is about the patients. It is not about the staff.

The housekeeping is substandard. I stand by the fact that the base cove is off on the bottom of the wall. You cannot clean a surface that is just a bunch of glue that there is no base cove on it. The food is substandard. I could go on and on about this, Mr. Speaker, but the point is that I stood here and raised these issues because I am concerned about conditions at that hospital. I have a right. I have an obligation to do that as an MLA, and I do not appreciate the CEO of the hospital going on the radio today and refuting everything I said. I intend to follow up with this. I will again ask the Minister, would he like to provide me with the credentials of his CEO and would he like to…

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. I would like to remind Members to not be talking about members outside of this House that are not here to defend themselves. Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen.


Cin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cin said...

Holy sh*t. And I'm on mat leave and have been so busy with acting-up kids I haven't heard about this -- missed the news over the past 3 days. I would be having a field day with this story.

For the record, I delivered all 3 of my children at Stanton, from 2002 to 2006. During my first stay, the service to mother and baby were excellent, but my post-op care, I now realize, left things to be desired. It took them 3 days to change my sheets -- blood-stained. No one gave me a good sponge bath 12 hrs post op.

With my second birth, post-op care and baby/mother care were excellent.

With my third, post-op care was absolutely superb, but they had a very strict rooming-in policy, even for C-section patients; all mothers had to care for their infants 24/7 -- even in the hours immediately post-surgery. I was told less than 24 hours before my surgery that I would need someone to sit with me. I was out of it, vomiting and delirious for hours and hours after Naomi was born. My hubby had to leave at one point to work (self-employed). A friend called in to work and sat with me.

Wish I was covering this -- I can think of more angles than are on an octagon right off the bat.