North York residents picket to save Branson's Urgent Care Centre

News May 10, 2017 by Jasmine Hui North York Mirror

Chanting "Hospitals Not Condos" and "We Need Urgent Care" more than 40 people gathered on the sidewalks in front of the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre tonight to protest the proposed closure of its Urgent Care Centre.

Holding a hand-written sign with the words 'Keep Branson Open' Bill Coleman said the rally, organized by the Branson Community Action Group (BCAG), was held to raise awareness of the community's need to keep the doors open.

“The Bathurst and Finch community has disabled people, elderly people and new immigrant families,” said Coleman, citing he doesn't believe the community was well-informed about the decision. “They don’t have the capacity to go all the way down to (North York General) for services.”

North York General Hospital (NYGH) announced last month the centre will close for good on Thursday, June 1.

The building located on Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue had been leased from Advent Health Care Corporation for 19 years.

In a letter on the hospital's website, president and CEO Tim Rutledge said there were several reasons to transition out of the Branson site citing 'buildings of this vintage require ongoing investment to upgrade infrastructure and meet new standards. North York General Hospital does not own the Branson facility....Given that we do not own this building, and Advent has extensive redevelopment plans for the site, it would not be prudent for us to use public dollars to continue to invest in this building."

BCAG co-chair Kenneth Schafer said although he understands the hospital's position, he thinks more would be lost if the building closes.

“They’re not taking into account what the hospital is and what the hospital does,” he said.

“The hospital isn’t just a building that’s here. It’s actually a centre for the community. People come here when they’re sick, afraid and in pain, and people feel comfortable coming here to get their health care taken care of. When hospitals make decisions behind closed doors, they don’t realize they treat people in these buildings, not widgets.”

NYGH’s statistics show visits to the Urgent Care Centre decreased from more than 30,000 visits in 2010-11 to 21,858 in 2015-16.

The hospital's General site, located on 4001 Leslie St., has seen an increase of visits as some Urgent Care Centre patients are being transferred.

Shelley Stillman was also there to show her support at the rally despite being aware of the issue only three weeks ago.

“They (North York General) talks about it being a transparent process, but I don’t think it was at all,” Stillman said.

“It sounds to me like the decision was already made and the reason they had a three-month window was so people did not have a chance to organize or look for alternative strategies.”

In a statement to the North York Mirror, the hospital says 'community consultations will continue to be a priority as planning for the transition of services continues.' It continues that a meeting with the Branson Community Action Group has been requested and the hospital awaits a response, but makes no mention of Wednesday's protest.

North York residents picket to save Branson's Urgent Care Centre

Supporters say the hospital's plan was not transparent

News May 10, 2017 by Jasmine Hui North York Mirror

Chanting "Hospitals Not Condos" and "We Need Urgent Care" more than 40 people gathered on the sidewalks in front of the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre tonight to protest the proposed closure of its Urgent Care Centre.

Holding a hand-written sign with the words 'Keep Branson Open' Bill Coleman said the rally, organized by the Branson Community Action Group (BCAG), was held to raise awareness of the community's need to keep the doors open.

“The Bathurst and Finch community has disabled people, elderly people and new immigrant families,” said Coleman, citing he doesn't believe the community was well-informed about the decision. “They don’t have the capacity to go all the way down to (North York General) for services.”

North York General Hospital (NYGH) announced last month the centre will close for good on Thursday, June 1.

The building located on Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue had been leased from Advent Health Care Corporation for 19 years.

In a letter on the hospital's website, president and CEO Tim Rutledge said there were several reasons to transition out of the Branson site citing 'buildings of this vintage require ongoing investment to upgrade infrastructure and meet new standards. North York General Hospital does not own the Branson facility....Given that we do not own this building, and Advent has extensive redevelopment plans for the site, it would not be prudent for us to use public dollars to continue to invest in this building."

BCAG co-chair Kenneth Schafer said although he understands the hospital's position, he thinks more would be lost if the building closes.

“They’re not taking into account what the hospital is and what the hospital does,” he said.

“The hospital isn’t just a building that’s here. It’s actually a centre for the community. People come here when they’re sick, afraid and in pain, and people feel comfortable coming here to get their health care taken care of. When hospitals make decisions behind closed doors, they don’t realize they treat people in these buildings, not widgets.”

NYGH’s statistics show visits to the Urgent Care Centre decreased from more than 30,000 visits in 2010-11 to 21,858 in 2015-16.

The hospital's General site, located on 4001 Leslie St., has seen an increase of visits as some Urgent Care Centre patients are being transferred.

Shelley Stillman was also there to show her support at the rally despite being aware of the issue only three weeks ago.

“They (North York General) talks about it being a transparent process, but I don’t think it was at all,” Stillman said.

“It sounds to me like the decision was already made and the reason they had a three-month window was so people did not have a chance to organize or look for alternative strategies.”

In a statement to the North York Mirror, the hospital says 'community consultations will continue to be a priority as planning for the transition of services continues.' It continues that a meeting with the Branson Community Action Group has been requested and the hospital awaits a response, but makes no mention of Wednesday's protest.

North York residents picket to save Branson's Urgent Care Centre

Supporters say the hospital's plan was not transparent

News May 10, 2017 by Jasmine Hui North York Mirror

Chanting "Hospitals Not Condos" and "We Need Urgent Care" more than 40 people gathered on the sidewalks in front of the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre tonight to protest the proposed closure of its Urgent Care Centre.

Holding a hand-written sign with the words 'Keep Branson Open' Bill Coleman said the rally, organized by the Branson Community Action Group (BCAG), was held to raise awareness of the community's need to keep the doors open.

“The Bathurst and Finch community has disabled people, elderly people and new immigrant families,” said Coleman, citing he doesn't believe the community was well-informed about the decision. “They don’t have the capacity to go all the way down to (North York General) for services.”

North York General Hospital (NYGH) announced last month the centre will close for good on Thursday, June 1.

The building located on Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue had been leased from Advent Health Care Corporation for 19 years.

In a letter on the hospital's website, president and CEO Tim Rutledge said there were several reasons to transition out of the Branson site citing 'buildings of this vintage require ongoing investment to upgrade infrastructure and meet new standards. North York General Hospital does not own the Branson facility....Given that we do not own this building, and Advent has extensive redevelopment plans for the site, it would not be prudent for us to use public dollars to continue to invest in this building."

BCAG co-chair Kenneth Schafer said although he understands the hospital's position, he thinks more would be lost if the building closes.

“They’re not taking into account what the hospital is and what the hospital does,” he said.

“The hospital isn’t just a building that’s here. It’s actually a centre for the community. People come here when they’re sick, afraid and in pain, and people feel comfortable coming here to get their health care taken care of. When hospitals make decisions behind closed doors, they don’t realize they treat people in these buildings, not widgets.”

NYGH’s statistics show visits to the Urgent Care Centre decreased from more than 30,000 visits in 2010-11 to 21,858 in 2015-16.

The hospital's General site, located on 4001 Leslie St., has seen an increase of visits as some Urgent Care Centre patients are being transferred.

Shelley Stillman was also there to show her support at the rally despite being aware of the issue only three weeks ago.

“They (North York General) talks about it being a transparent process, but I don’t think it was at all,” Stillman said.

“It sounds to me like the decision was already made and the reason they had a three-month window was so people did not have a chance to organize or look for alternative strategies.”

In a statement to the North York Mirror, the hospital says 'community consultations will continue to be a priority as planning for the transition of services continues.' It continues that a meeting with the Branson Community Action Group has been requested and the hospital awaits a response, but makes no mention of Wednesday's protest.