300 rally at Province House over dialysis
About 300 people marched up Charlottetown's Great George Street Tuesday evening for a protest on the steps of the legislature against the closure of dialysis units in the east and west ends of the Island.
The rally was one of series of what is becoming a regular occurrence on Tuesdays.
The government announced earlier this month it was closing dialysis units in Souris and Alberton, consolidating services in Charlottetown and Summerside. It has since backed down from that stance, deferring the decision. Premier Robert Ghiz reiterated that for the crowd Tuesday , saying his government would take a year to review and research.
"If that information comes back and says that we are better off with having dialysis services in Souris and in Alberton, then that will be the decision we will make," said Ghiz.
Ghiz got a cheer for that statement, but campaigners want to keep the pressure on. One of the speakers at the rally, Nathan Bushey of Souris, told the crowd the implications of closing the units was serious.
Bushey has to undergo dialysis three times a week, and he said it's not safe to ask patients at both tips of the Island to drive at least an hour each way to get treatment in Summerside or Charlottetown. Some, he said, just won't bother making the trip.
"People will get very sick as a result of the elimination of Island-wide dialysis. Some may even die. It's that serious," he said.
Bushey said the protestors are looking for a reversal of the decision, not a delay.