North Island is not a relative term

North Islanders will have to drive several hours south to take advantage of planned 'North Island' hospitals.

Dear editor,

A letter to Dan MacLennan, Island Health Communications:

Dan;

Thank you for your news releases on the progress of the two new hospitals being constructed in the Mid-Island area. They are not being built in the North Island.

The North Island currently has four hospitals (Alert Bay, Port Alice, Port Hardy, Port McNeill) and some clinics, all of which offer a wide variety of services to the people of the true North Island. More seriously challenged patients are sent to the Mid-Island hospitals or to the hospitals in the South Island or even Vancouver.

Those of us entrusted with speaking for and caring for the people of the true North Island have the ongoing responsibility and the ongoing challenge of maintaining and improving our North Island institutions.

We are anxious to maintain and improve our facilities and the security of these services, for our widely­ spread North Island population.

We reserve the right to use the correct term ‘North Island’ to describe and hopefully improve our North Island facilities.

With best wishes for the continuing success of your Mid-Island facilities.

Gerry Furney

Mayor, Port McNeill