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MPP working to keep Timmins sleep clinic open

Gilles Bisson says talks going in right direction
2017-11-10 Timmins and District Hospital MH
Timmins and District Hospital. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

Instead of putting patients at risk on northern Ontario highways in the winter to access an out-of-town sleep clinic, Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson is suggesting an alternative.

Bisson said to save $160,000, Timmins and District Hospital could close its sleep centre. 

“The hospital has to make some really unpopular decisions that they don’t want to make, and I stress this, this is not the hospital that wants to shut this down – they’re kind of being forced,” he said.

The clinic is funded by OHIP, however Bisson said the premiums haven’t kept up to the cost and the hospital pays the additional money to run it.

For patients from Timmins, Bisson said they'd be driving from Sudbury on northern Ontario highways in the winter after they haven’t had a good night’s sleep.

“We’re putting people at risk and we’re spending over $1 million in...northern travel grants,” he said.

Recently, he suggested to the Minister of Health that to save money in travel grants, the extra money to offset the clinic costs could be transferred through the OHIP budget.

“My sense is that we’re going in the right direction and let’s hope that the focus that we’ve put on this and the logical arguments will help us prevail so that we keep the sleep lab here in Timmins,” he said.