The Smiths Falls Town Council received a delegation from the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital during Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. PSFDH CEO Dr. Barry Guppy and Donna Howard, Chair of the board, presented an overview of the finances of the PSFDH. The PSFDH is currently running a $2.6 million deficit: this is due to $1.3 million in unreimbursed Covid expenses, and $1.3 million in lost revenue (due to decreased services / activities at hospital during the Covid-19 lockdown). The PSFDH is expecting the province to provide reimbursement for Covid expenses, but the funds have not come through yet. Dr. Guppy pointed out that the equipment in local hospitals is not funded provincially or federally, but at the local level. He emphasized that “our community deserves the best care possible” and asked town council to consider allocating $174 341 to support the PSFDH in their 2021 budget.
Town council acknowledged the importance of the PSFDH in our community; “Covid has reminded all of us how important the hospital truly is,” noted Mayor Pankow.
Councillor Brennan pointed out that Covid has obstructed typical fundraising efforts, and asked if this was impacting the hospital’s receiving of financial support. Donna Howard acknowledged that yes, the typical fundraisers are unable to be held, and they raise the hospital’s profile in public awareness. However, the board has high hopes that as we enter into the giving season, the community will step up their commitment to support the PSFDH even without the usual fundraisers.
Councillor Brennan reminded Council that the hospital auxiliary gift shop, which has been closed due to Covid-19 restricting traffic in the hospital, has been moved to the Settlers Ridge mall. Shoppers can support the auxiliary from Settlers Ridge with all proper social distancing and mask procedures in place.