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Monday, September 23, 2013

MOH Wants Smoke Free Hospitals

Owen Sound | by Brenden Gibbins  

Hazel Lynn says smoking ban outside of all hospitals could come as early as May

The opportunity to ban smoking from all hospitals in our region will not only help health - but it will save money as well.

That's the message that Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health Doctor Hazel Lynn is advocating.

She is getting set to meet with the South Bruce Grey Health Centre's board on Wednesday night in Kincardine.

SBGHC and the Grey Bruce Health Services are teaming up with the health unit to ban smoking at all hospitals in Grey Bruce by May.

Doctor Lynn tells Bayshore Broadcasting News that the employees need to be on board for the policy to work.

She says the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto had to get their employees on board before they could ban smoking.

Whether an employee ban on smoking in parking lots or cars is established will likely depend on the hospital.

The Medical Officer of Health says the money savings would come from employees taking shorter breaks and you wouldn't have to have someone take patients outside to smoke.

Doctor Lynn adds a challenge unique to the Owen Sound hospital is that it's designated as a psychiatric facility for the region with a secure unit.

She notes Penetanguishene's forensic mental health facility went smoke-free a number of years ago so it is possible in the Scenic City.

Doctor Lynn adds surgeons are more and more reluctant to do any elective work on smokers because they have such a high infection rate.

She says there's no way you can justify smoking on hospital grounds.


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