Hey, I was just trying to be helpful!


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The Oopsie of the Week award winner is no contest as Ald. Sam Yusuf’s decision to forward a personal email from the executive-director of the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital Foundation on to all members of council proved to be somewhat embarrassing, especially to its author, Allan Weatherall.
While Weatherall asserts, after the fact, there was no ill intent in his correspondence to Yusuf, the Times-Journal has obtained a copy of the email and it definitely has a sucker-punch quality to it.
He is miffed the city will not put aside hospital funding in the 2012 city budget.
“That is not forward thinking at all as the hospital will in some form, in some way need rebuilding. So why does the city not set some money aside to be ready for a time when it will be required? That is true community leadership and forward thinking, being proactive and not reactive.”

The content of the personal correspondence proved contentious enough to send Ald. Gord Campbell to near boiling point on the miffed scale.
“They (foundation representatives) listened to our (hospital committee) resolution, didn’t seem to have a problem with it, but then Ald. Yusuf sends us an email this (Monday) morning which really starts to bother me. They’re not only questioning what the city’s doing, they’re saying that we’re not doing our job, I guess.”
The meeting Campbell is referring to was a city/county hospital committee meeting a week ago in which members passed a resolution to be sent to both city and county councils.
The resolution expresses commitment to the hospital redevelopment project, but also states neither council would allocate money in this year’s budgets.
It’s all a complete misunderstanding Weatherall told the T-J., while back-peddling in superb fashion.
“I was truly just trying to be helpful and my idea was certainly not to have been taken as criticism in any way or in any form. People know that is not me or my style.”
You bet, Allan.
What you’re really saying is you want hard-hit ratepayers to be saddled with contributing to an ongoing hospital slush fund to be used for undetermined projects years down the road.
Meantime, $280 million in deferred city infrastructure can find a seat at the back of the bus.
If the project is to be rescoped, likely down to the mental health beds promised years ago, why the need for the city/county/ratepayers to still cough up $13 million?
We’ll say it again, the sense of entitlement at STEGH is breath-taking.

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET?
A little melodramatic we’re sure, but for T-J readers who have commented on our website they see the state of cleanliness at STEGH as nothing short of horrific.
Here’s a brief sampling:
“I too was at the STEGH in the I.C.U. my room was cleaned every morning…but then being transferred to another floor…I was lucky if a housekeeper ever looked in my room,” writes chubby 7880. “I had to ask for them to change my garbage….straws left on the floor, empty sugar packets left on the floors, floors not even swept let alone mopped. This hospital has too many high-priced desk jockeys and not enough laboured employees. Very sad way to run a hospital and they want funding from the public. Not getting a dime from me.”
John Hope chips in with this; “ A friend of mine recently stayed at STEGH for a few days, he told me his bed rail had blood on it that was never cleaned off after a former patient had stayed in it. This is absolutely not acceptable, It’s unthinkable! especially in this day and age. Maybe if Mr. Collins would come out of his ivory tower and actually get with reality he might see the neglect that goes on at this hospital.”
From Lynn Jones: “What a disgrace of a once Noble Hospital which had Hard Working numbers of Wonderful Housekeepers..which has in the last decade been eliminated for more of the so called Upper Management taking their place..Walking around in their lovely outfits.. I Hope these Managers don`t get after the Housekeepers..It is the amount of work they are now made to do when it used to be 2-3 Housekeepers performing the same duties.. Shame on you Paul Collins and the Board for keeping him on..when it is clear he has no idea what condition the Hospital is in, and Thank-you Ken Hough (a St. Thomas resident featured on national television this week) for letting this problem be brought out into the open and show the country what “Dirty Little Secret” we suspected all along.”
We’ll let Elizabeth Smith have the last word this week: “When my husband was in the hospital the cleaning lady came into the room with her mop – I watched her mop around every wrapper, tissue, straws and whatever else was on the floor. Aren’t floors to be swept before mopping..??????”

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“It took 10 years to get approval on the last project which is now being rescoped and, until we have some actual hard numbers, I’m having a real difficult time putting money into a budget . . . when it could be waiting there for we don’t know how long.”
Mayor Heather Jackson says putting funds into the 2012 city budget for use at a future date for hospital redevelopment is not a priority when other city projects with definite blueprints could make immediate use of the funds.
City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to ian.mccallum@sunmedia.ca.

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