19 May 2018 Posted By : Elyse Skura

Patients, staff 'suffer': Rural Ottawa voters demand better health care

With three young boys, Emmanuelle Seguin Reid says a trip to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario is practically an inevitability — and one she dreads. 

"Sometimes when kids get hurt, you're like, 'Should we go to the hospital?'" Seguin Reid said from the porch of her Navan home, while her three-year-old son Samuel ran back and forth across her lawn. 

Reading Facebook posts from friends who've waited "hours and hours" for treatment has made her weary.

"If I knew the wait would be less long than usual, it would be my first place to go all the time and get the problem fixed right away," she said.

For Ottawa voters in the Glengarry–Prescott–Russell riding, improving health care is one of their most pressing concerns.

'Staff suffer'

In Cumberland and Navan, it's not hard to find someone with a personal connection to the issue. 

Standing in a busy park, Luiz Lubitz describes why improvements to health care, including hiring more doctors and nurses, is so important. 

"My husband, last year, he had heart surgery and his heart stopped two times," she said. Those who cared for him were kind, but she said the hospital system needs more people like them. 

"I think it's very important. It's very important to me and my family."

Luz Lubitz says she'd like to know how local candidates want to improve the health-care system. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

As a long-term-care nurse, Stephanie Rathwell knows the other side of the issue. 

"I believe that there should be more money put into health care for sure, because I know there's a lot of people waiting in emergency rooms, and [for] long times."

And government underfunding doesn't just affect patients, Rathwell said. 

"Staff suffer. I mean, staff are overworked. Residents aren't getting the proper care they need right away. There's a lot of burn-out rates for people in general."

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