Opposition Leader Gerry Reid says he is angered by today’s announcement that
only four beds will re-open at the Fogo Island hospital. The announcement
was made by the Central Health Care Corporation earlier this morning.
20 bed Fogo Island hospital was approved and constructed under the former
Liberal government. During the 2003 election campaign, Premier Williams
promised to open this facility to its full capacity. After taking office,
Premier Williams broke his campaign promise and closed ten beds. With
today’s announcement, the facility will remain six beds short of capacity
while seniors continue to be sent off Fogo Island to receive the care they
"Studies have been completed that have demonstrated the need for a 20 bed
facility on Fogo Island," said Mr. Reid. "Today’s announcement that three
chronic care beds and 1 respite care bed will re-open certainly does not
meet the demonstrated need for 20 beds at the facility. The people of Fogo
Island are being treated like second-class citizens by this government and
this is not acceptable.
"Government is also expecting the hospital to operate these beds with no
extra money allocated to hire new staff. The staff at the hospital have
already demonstrated that they are overwhelmed and need extra help. Instead
of re-opening all ten beds and hiring the necessary staff, government is
trying to turn this feeble announcement into a good news story. I can assure
the premier that neither the residents of Fogo Island, nor I, will be
sending a thank-you note anytime soon.
"Until our health care facility is returned to full capacity, I will
continue to fight for the health services offered to the people of Fogo
Island. If Premier Williams wishes to visit the Fogo Island hospital and
witness the health care needs of our people first hand, I would be more than
willing to arrange the trip."