PCs back NEO Kids

Sud­bury can­di­date starts on­line pe­ti­tion to draw sup­port for $40-mil­lion fa­cil­ity

The Sudbury Star - - NEWS - STAR STAFF sud.edi­to­rial@sun­media.ca

Af­ter an­nounc­ing that as MPP he would work tire­lessly to get NEO Kids a new, $40-mil­lion fa­cil­ity in Sud­bury, Sud­bury can­di­date Troy Crow­der on Tues­day an­nounced the On­tario PC Party is launch­ing a new pe­ti­tion to give the com­mu­nity an op­por­tu­nity to have their voices heard.

“I have been very clear, as your MPP I will make a NEO Kids fa­cil­ity a pri­or­ity,” Crow­der said in a re­lease. “But talk is cheap, and I wanted to take a real and tan­gi­ble ac­tion.”

Crow­der en­cour­aged every­one in North­ern On­tario who wants to see bet­ter health care ser­vices to sign the pe­ti­tion at www. neonow.ca, and said that he will be drop­ping off the sig­na­tures at Sud­bury MPP Glenn Thibeault’s of­fice.

“This pe­ti­tion will al­low the com­mu­nity an op­por­tu­nity to make their voices heard,” Crow­der said. “I en­cour­age every­one who wants to see bet­ter health care de­liv­ery in North­ern On­tario to sign the pe­ti­tion.”

NEO Kids’ board ap­plied for fund­ing from the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment in 2015, but their ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected. More re­cently, Thibeault in­di­cated there was move­ment on fund­ing, but Sud­bury fam­i­lies have been left wait­ing, ac­cord­ing to Crow­der.

“North­ern­ers are tired of be­ing ig­nored by this Lib­eral gov­ern­ment. They are tired of be­ing treated like a ‘no man’s land,’” Crow­der said. “I am proud to rep­re­sent a party where North­ern On­tario mat­ters, and I am proud to rep­re­sent a leader who has taken the time to visit North­ern On­tario more than 30 times to learn about our com­mu­nity first-hand.”

Lo­cated at Health Sciences North in Greater Sud­bury, NEO Kids is north­east­ern On­tario’s hub for spe­cial­ized chil­dren’s care. The goal of NEO Kids is to en­sure as many chil­dren as pos­si­ble can stay in north­east­ern On­tario to get the care they need, in a child-and youth-cen­tred en­vi­ron­ment.

The hos­pi­tal wants to build a sep­a­rate home for NEO Kids on the prop­erty of Health Sciences North. Con­struc­tion costs are pegged at $40 mil­lion.

While NEO Kids would not be on the scale of Toronto’s Sick Kids, it would of­fer far more than what is cur­rently avail­able to North­ern­ers by bring­ing out­pa­tient pae­di­atrics un­der one roof and at­tract­ing more med­i­cal ex­per­tise, Dr. Sean Mur­ray, chief of pe­di­atrics at Health Sciences North, said last year.

The cen­tre is en­vi­sioned as a “place where kids feel com­fort­able and where par­ents can come for one-stop shop­ping,” Dr. Mur­ray said.

It al­ready ex­ists to some ex­tent, since pe­di­atric care has al­ready been co-lo­cated in one part of the hos­pi­tal, but to fully meet its man­date, NEO Kids re­quires more re­sources and its own fa­cil­ity, he said.


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