Violent protests prevent N.B. doctor, nurses from leaving Haiti

[ad_1]

An emergency room nurse and doctor from Woodstock, N.B., and a nurse from Halifax say they are safe but have no idea when they will be able to leave Haiti as violent protests continue in that country.

« We’re all safe and we’re not worried about our safety, as long as we don’t leave the property we’re on now, » said Dr. Heather Dow. 

The latest demonstrations in Haiti were triggered by frustrations over the country’s high unemployment rates and skyrocketing prices.

Dow, along with Cathy Davies and Rachel Blaquiere, travelled to Haiti to provide free medical aid in small villages and towns. But the protests are preventing their departure, which was scheduled for Wednesday. 

« We’re a bit stressed because we have obligations at home that we’re probably not going to be able to meet if we don’t get home soon, » Dow said. 

Protests and demonstrations began Feb. 7, on the anniversary of the overthrow 33 years ago of dictator Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier. 

Dow said that despite President Jovenel Moise’s promises of improvements, things have gotten worse. 

‘Complete shock’

In an interview with Shift New Brunswick, Davies, from Woodstock, said they had no idea this would happen because nothing like it had happened when they were there at the same time last year. 

« This came to us as a complete shock when it all began, » she said.

A nurse and doctor from Woodstock, along with a nurse from Halifax, are stuck in Haiti during the sixth day of violent protests there. Cathy Davies, Rachel Blaquiere and Dr. Heather Dow travelled to Haiti to provide free medical aid in small villages and towns. 9:07

The women, along with the medical team they travel with, were able to reach a small clinic in the mountains that day but encountered roadblocks, and someone threw a gas bomb at them.

« We had to go through a dirt path he knew of to get back to our house, » she said. « And our driver had a gun too. It was something that I don’t want to go through again. » 

Roads blocked

Blaquiere, formerly of Woodstock, N.B., is part of a medical team that can’t leave Haiti because of violent protests over inflation and unemployment. (Submitted)

The three are staying at the home of Dr. Emilio Bazile, who lives in Ottawa but returns to the country three or four times a year to deliver medical care. They have accompanied him on many of those trips.

His home is four hours from Port-au-Prince, where the only international airport is located. Dow said entrances to the capital have been blocked and there are roadblocks throughout the city. 

« There’s a lot of demonstrations with rock throwing and tire burning, cement-barricade building and clashes with the police that have left many injured and several killed, » Dow said. 

She said they’ve heard people at the barricades are asking for money to let people through, and sometimes hold people for ransom to make their point to the government about how unhappy they are. 

Seeking help

Cathy Davies, an emergency room nurse from Woodstock, said she is hoping and praying the trio can safely leave Haiti soon. (Submitted)

The women said Bazile has been trying to use his contacts to arrange a safe way for the women to leave the country. More calls were being made to the Canadian Embassy to see if they could help. 

« Right now with the roads blockaded there’s no way to get to Port-au-Prince, » said Dow. 

Davies said another friend is working with his contacts to arrange a flight from another airport if they can there. 

« Our concern right now is getting home safely, » she said. « We’re hoping and praying this gets resolved and we get home to our respective families soon. »   

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Indigenous groups, nurses’ association say Ontario left them out of the loop on health reforms

[ad_1]

Groups that could be affected by a major overhaul of the province’s health system say they are troubled they have been left out of the loop.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said he was surprised to learn through the media that government officials have proposed “outsourcing” the ORNGE air ambulance service. Approximately 60 per cent of ORNGE’s transports are from northern Ontario, including from First Nation communities.

About 60 per cent of ORNGE’s air ambulance transports are from northern Ontario, including from First Nation communities.
About 60 per cent of ORNGE’s air ambulance transports are from northern Ontario, including from First Nation communities.  (TARA WALTON / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) said it too is concerned it has not been consulted about health reforms that appear to be well underway.

The provincial New Democrats caught the provincial government off guard by releasing to the media leaked government documents on proposed and planned health restructuring — one batch earlier this week and the other the week before.

The documents state that Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet approved “the full health-care transformation plan” at a Jan. 16 cabinet meeting. The documents included draft legislation to create a health “super agency” out of more than 20 smaller agencies, including local health integration networks (LHINs) and Cancer Care Ontario.

Although ORNGE was on the list, Health Minister Christine Elliott has said it will not be privatized.

She has tried to play down the leaks, telling the media that while “transformation” is coming, nothing has been “finalized” and that the government will continue to consult with the public.

Fiddler said he is not quite sure what is happening but was puzzled to learn through the media that ORNGE has even been on the table: “It’s concerning that these discussions may be happening without involving those who would be most impacted.”

As part of Ontario’s health system, ORNGE has access to some of the province’s premier critical care and trauma specialists who provide consultations to remote, mainly Indigenous communities, former deputy health minister Dr. Bob Bell explained.

“If ORNGE’s responsibilities were outsourced to the lowest bidder, it is unlikely that citizens would have access to the same quality of medical consultation that ORNGE provides,” he warned.

The leaked documents warn that shuttering LHINs could result in a “service disruption” and labour disruption with ONA.

A written statement provided by ONA on Friday said the organization, which represents 65,000 nurses and health-care professionals, is in the dark about what to expect:

“ONA does not have any information about whether these policies may or may not be government policy. ONA is in contact with the premier’s office and the ministry of health, which we are hopeful will lead to further engagement around the government’s planning for Ontario’s health-care system.”

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said he was surprised to learn through the media that government officials had proposed "outsourcing" the ORNGE air ambulance service. Ontario's health minister says it won't be privatized.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said he was surprised to learn through the media that government officials had proposed « outsourcing » the ORNGE air ambulance service. Ontario’s health minister says it won’t be privatized.  (Tanya Talaga/Toronto Star FILE PHOTO)

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told caucus members on Friday, the last day of a three-day retreat in Durham Region, that the party plans to hold the government to account on the reforms when the Legislature resumes sitting in just over a week.

“A looming overhaul of health-care delivery … will open the door to for-profit corporations getting access to public health-care dollars,” she warned.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked by the media on Thursday about the NDP’s concerns that Ontario is opening the door to two-tier health care.

He responded that the federal government will always stand up for its responsibilities to defend the Canada Health Act and ensure universal access to a strong health-care system, The Canadian Press reported.

Anthony Dale, president of the Ontario Hospital Association, took to Twitter to call on the prime minister to put his money where his mouth is:

“Personally I feel this is posturing. Ontario hospitals are overcapacity but the (Government) of Canada is on the retreat when it comes to health-care transfers. Without adequate financial federal support it will be that much more difficult to end hallway health care.”

Meantime, the Star has learned a recruitment firm is already searching for a CEO to head the new super agency. It is seeking an individual with a business background as opposed to health-care expertise, said a source close to government who spoke on condition of anonymity. The source was not authorized to speak to the media.

Theresa Boyle is a Toronto-based reporter covering health. Follow her on Twitter: @theresaboyle

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Quebec’s plans to open new winter clinics comes too late, according to nurses – Montreal

[ad_1]

The Quebec Nurses Federation has been sounding the alarm for months about the need to adopt new measures to help ease the overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms (ERs).

Now, the province’s new health minister, Danielle McCann, has confirmed that her ministry is working on the final details before making it official and opening so-called “winter clinics” starting next week. A spokesperson for the ministry said the goal is get as many clinics up and running by mid-January until the end of March.

The new winter clinics will operate within existing GMF clinics (groupe de médecine familiale), also known as super-clinics, by extending operating hours and increasing patient capacity on evenings and weekends. They will offer non-urgent care in an attempt to free up overcrowding in ERs.


READ MORE:
Montreal emergency rooms crowded as flu cases spike in time for holiday season

“Some South Shore hospital ERs are operating at 250 per cent,” said the health minister’s press attaché, Alexandre Lahaie. “We took measures before the holidays, but the flu has come back with a vengeance.”

But those measures should have been put in place much earlier, according to the Quebec Nurses Federation, considering medical specialists had been warning about the early start to the flu season months ago.

“It’s late because we knew the flu would hit sooner this year and there was nothing planned by the government,” said the federation’s vice-president, Denise Joseph. “It’s late but it’s going to help.”


READ MORE:
Quebec kicks off flu vaccination campaign amid worries over influenza A

According to the ministry, 25 GMF clinics on the island of Montreal have already offered to collaborate, but Lahaie insists the regions with the biggest needs will be prioritized such as the south shore of Montreal, Laval, the Laurentians and the Lanaudière.

The ministry claims there will be no extra cost for doctors, since the amounts were already budgeted for, but that the biggest expense will likely for extra nursing staff in the winter clinics.

“We’re being criticized but our government wasn’t operational until November 2,” Lahaie said, while pointing out that they would have had to start planning back in September in order to be up and running in time for December.

“We hope that this government will learn,” said Joseph. “Every year around the same time or so there’s always the flu, there’s always something going around, and it’s always at Christmas that it starts.”

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

First World War soldiers and nurses are a ghostly presence in Trinity College windows

[ad_1]

The men and women in the windows at Trinity College have a ghostly presence, rendered in the black and silvery white of a glass-plate negative, like an X-ray.

They were students of another time and place, united by death and service in the First World War. Their Trinity College was located in what is now Trinity Bellwoods park, and had federated with the University of Toronto in 1904. Students didn’t move into the current location until 1925.

Adhesive reproductions of old photo negatives are attached to the windows overlooking a courtyard at U of T’s Trinity College. The college’s archives hold 210 glass-plate negatives of portraits from The War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, about 543 students and alumni who had served in the First World War. This picture shows William George Henry Bates.
Adhesive reproductions of old photo negatives are attached to the windows overlooking a courtyard at U of T’s Trinity College. The college’s archives hold 210 glass-plate negatives of portraits from The War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, about 543 students and alumni who had served in the First World War. This picture shows William George Henry Bates.  (Richard Lautens / Toronto Star)

In 1922, two Trinity professors wrote a book about the 543 students and alumni who had served in the conflict. They wrote to the survivors, and families of the dead, asking for photos. The War Memorial Volume of Trinity College was a “labour of love,” Trinity archivist Sylvia Lassam says.

The professors made copies of each photo and kept the glass-plate negatives. About a year ago, Lassam came across the photos in boxes marked “heavy.”

To honour the centenary of the Armistice, Lassam had 27 of the photos — each one slightly bigger than a smartphone — developed, keeping the negative exposure. They were printed on clear backing, and Lassam and Sarah Kidd, the communications co-ordinator at the college, stuck them on the paned-glass windows that look to the quad. The details of their faces only sharpen when you look at them a certain way.

“He looks so young,” Lassam says as she gazes at Henry Thomson, killed at Passchendaele at 23. “Like a kid brother.”

Jeffrey Filder Smith enlisted at age 31, seeking to become an officer.
Jeffrey Filder Smith enlisted at age 31, seeking to become an officer.  (Richard Lautens)

Jeffrey Filder Smith grew up in Rosedale. He went to Upper Canada College and later studied in the Faculty of Arts, 1903-05. While the Globe said he worked at a rubber manufacturer’s head office before the war, he listed his occupation as “gentleman” when he signed up in 1916. He was 31, and took an officer’s course in England before he arrived in France.

He was hurt at Vimy Ridge but Lt. Smith was back in action 10 days later. He went missing at the end of June 1917. His battalion, the 13th, Royal Highlanders of Canada, had dug a fake trench and set up “dummy” soldiers which they controlled with string. At the appointed hour, the battalion history notes, they began moving the fake soldiers to trick the Germans into thinking an attack was imminent. The Germans shelled the area — but the battalion noticed the Germans were shelling their own line, too. The Canadians sent out a patrol that night to see if the Germans had abandoned the area. Lt. Smith and eight other men went over the top, through the barbed wire. It was a trap. The Germans threw a bomb at them and opened fire with a machine gun. Smith yelled at his men to retreat. He and another man stayed for covering fire.

They all made it back to the trench, but Smith and one other man did not. When another group came out closer to daybreak to find them, the other man was crawling back with a shattered leg. He said Smith had been hit by a bomb, but nobody could find him. According to the War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, he was taken prisoner and “died of wounds in German hands,” on June 29, 1917.

Leonora Gregory Allen had a rough passage over the Atlantic ? the passenger steamship she was on was torpedoed.
Leonora Gregory Allen had a rough passage over the Atlantic ? the passenger steamship she was on was torpedoed.  (Richard Lautens)

Leonora Gregory Allen studied at Trinity in 1906-07, and graduated from a nursing program in New York in 1910. She enlisted as a nursing sister in 1917. On the way to Europe, her passenger steamship turned military transport was torpedoed south of Ireland. The 29-year-old was picked up by a minesweeper, according to the Trinity war memorial book.

She made it to France in late 1917, but her hospital in St. Omer was bombed and shelled in the German spring advance of 1918, so she was moved to a new hospital at Étaples along France’s northern coast. “Everything bad that could happen to her happened to her,” Lassam says. Allen nursed at Allied hospitals in France and England after the Armistice and was back in Canada in the summer of 1919, where she became a supervisor and instructor at a hospital in Victoria. She married, and died in B.C. in 1957.

Reginald Prinsep Wilkins died during the Canadian advance in the last 100 days of the war.
Reginald Prinsep Wilkins died during the Canadian advance in the last 100 days of the war.  (Richard Lautens)

Reginald Prinsep Wilkins was a Trinity grad planning a law career. He couldn’t wait to get overseas, and signed up in 1915 with his good friend and Trinity alum Gordon Matheson. “Together they had hoped and waited for their chance to enter the battle and, officers of the same battalion, albeit in different companies, they almost fell together,” the college newspaper wrote.

As a student, Wilkins was in the glee club and never missed a Sunday morning choir appearance. He was editor-in-chief of the Trinity College Review. In France, he was a lieutenant with the 44th Batallion. His friend Matheson died in August 1918. In late September, Wilkins wrote to his father. The Canadians were advancing quickly through France, and were about to cross the Canal du Nord. “I feel that everything will turn out O.K., if the Almighty wills it,” he wrote.

According to the battalion war diary, early on Sept. 27, the men crossed the canal. Those leading the charge were pressed forward because of the eagerness of the entire crew, and many, including Wilkins, were killed or wounded as the Germans opened fire. The war diary notes the 26-year-old showed “magnificent leadership and self-sacrifice.” He was “believed to be buried” at the nearby Quarry Wood cemetery.

Richard Arthur Mitchell got in trouble for disobeying an order.
Richard Arthur Mitchell got in trouble for disobeying an order.  (Richard Lautens)

Richard Arthur Mitchell was studying in the Faculty of Arts, planning a future in ministry, when he enlisted in November 1914. The 20-year-old served with Canadian Army Medical Corps, and was plagued by rheumatism, stomach trouble and influenza, according to his service record.

In 1915 he wrote his will in an army recreation hut in England. He left his “regular army knife” to a friend in Toronto, $700 to his mother, and $300 to his uncle. According to his record, he was given three days’ field punishment for neglecting to obey a lawful command before Christmas 1915. That form of discipline often meant a soldier was tied to a fixed object for two hours a day in a crucifixion pose.

In 1916, Mitchell served with a machine-gun brigade on “water detail.” The military record keepers lost track of him that November, and when inquiries were made, the answer was a grim one. He had been killed in the Somme that September. According to the University of Toronto Honour Roll, Mitchell had gone to help two men who had been wounded in Courcelette, only to find they were already dead. As he hurried back to the trenches, a sniper shot him in. He is believed to be buried in nearby Adanac Military cemetery. The cemetery’s name is a reverse of Canada — it was created after the Armistice, when nearby Canadian graves were centralized in one location.

Adhesive reproductions of old photo negatives are attached to the windows overlooking a courtyard at U of T's Trinity College. The college's archives hold 210 glass-plate negatives of portraits from The War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, about 543 students and alumni who had served in the First World War.
Adhesive reproductions of old photo negatives are attached to the windows overlooking a courtyard at U of T’s Trinity College. The college’s archives hold 210 glass-plate negatives of portraits from The War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, about 543 students and alumni who had served in the First World War.  (Richard Lautens)

Katie Daubs is a reporter and feature writer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @kdaubs

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس