A Sudbury-based hospital is trying to change the future of healthcare for children. Health Sciences North has a Neo Kids section now, but it is small, and often over-booked. Now, the hospital has set a $40-million goal to build a new children’s wing.
Paediatrician at HSN, Dr. Sean Murray, says it’s time for change. He says for too long, North-Easterners have suffered through under-serviced healthcare. Murray says it’s like we’re treated as second-class citizens in terms of how we get health care delivered.
Kids are generally unhealthier in the Northeast compared to the rest of Ontario. The numbers below show how stats are higher across the board in our area. In order to get any sort of specialized care, families are forced to travel to Southern Ontario.
Dr. Murray says Health Sciences North does offer some specialized care, but if families wanted to for an appointment it could be as long as a year. HSN’s enhanced clinics provides care you can’t get in Timmins, the Soo, or North Bay. Dr. Murray compares the current shortage of children’s care to when there was no cancer centre in the Northeast in the 70’s.
He says that was only changed after a lot of passionate lobbying. He says it was an emotional issue that led to a system transformation, and he wants to see the same for children’s health care.
Murray says forcing families to drive to Southern Ontario for care is expensive and tough on the kids who are sick. He says if they can make this happen, it is something that will always be around for the Northeast. The HSN is depending largely on donations to create the building, but the first step is getting support from other cities before going to the government and the Local Health Integration Network.
Below: Map showing where care is currently available; London, Toronto, and Ottawa.