Health accessibility a priority for all

The North Islanders deserve their own modern hospital.

Dear editor,

So, the hospital site has been approved. Good!

It is the difference of opinion that makes horse races, wrote Mark Twain. And differences there have been.

“I cannot any longer remain quiet about the subject of the new hospital,” writes Louise Jackson in a letter to the editor (Comox Valley Record, Dec. 5). An urge she shares with many previous writers. She makes excellent points, states her case convincingly.

But here is the rub: Every letter writer has. Two community hospitals or one large regional. Arguments favour either choice. The problem comes with all the extraneous stuff — site, distance, staffing, cost, accessibility, etc.

Ms. Jackson has another curve to throw – TWO regional hospitals, the second “easily accessible to the residents from up-island, and … located north of the river.” The Puntledge, presumably.

I could not agree more — but for the cost. Two regional hospitals located within 55 kms of each other? Costing a billion dollars at least to build with operational, maintenance and other annual expenses?

But she is right. The North Islanders deserve their own modern hospital. Comox Valleyites are simply selfish.

It is 250 kilometres for people in Courtenay to undergo surgery in Victoria. It is double that distance for the folks in Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Port Alice.

In fairness, any regional hospital should have been located nearer to Campbell River than to Courtenay. Thus, two community hospitals make good sense as far as timely access is concerned. And that ought be the main concern.

Stocking hospitals with staff is as much a question of desirability for doctors and nurses seeking the balm of Island lifestyles, as it is of a chronic shortage of competent personnel. The fault for which lies elsewhere.

In social democratic Scandinavia, general practitioners average 1,600 patients, and must accept patients living within 10 kms. In Denmark, for example, the 71 hospitals (2000 census) offer 3.7 beds per 1,000 persons, satisfying 90 per cent of the Danes.

Anyone thinks Canada, specifically British Columbia, can muster an equal percentage of contentedness?

In truth, I am not happy about the P3 option, either — public-private partnership — but let the hospital be built, let us rejoice in the current status, and let us hope no one gets sick.

Proximity to hospital is a priority for many patients — for ease of access and closeness to family and friends. Amen.

Finn Schultz-Lorentzen,

Courtenay

 

Just Posted

North Island Rising: A very powerful voter

There is another non-voter though that I would love to see back in the voting booth.

Town of Port McNeill’s financial statements are in, and the numbers might surprise you

One resident asked why CIBC bank charges (Fiscal Expense) were $15,000 higher than the previous year

OPINION: A Kayaker’s Paradise with no Kayaks

A kayak rental would greatly bolster tourism in Port Alice.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A bird and some otters

Here’s two pictures I took while out in my skiff just cruising around the inlet enjoying the weather.

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read