Quit bickering and build regional hospital

Re: One hospital right decision (Comox Valley Record, Dec. 30)

Dear editor,

Re: One hospital right decision (Comox Valley Record, Dec. 30)

As a family which must bear the expense and challenge of residing in Victoria during the week while a loved one receives radiation treatment which is not available north of Victoria, we heartily support B. Funk’s letter of Dec. 30 recommending a single, large, full service hospital for North Island.

Our population is rapidly expanding and we desperately need a full service regional hospital which would serve all of the medical needs of the residents of North Island from the Comox Valley up to Port Hardy.

Most people who live in North Island just do not understand how poorly equipped and prepared our local hospitals in Campbell River and Comox are until we are faced with a life threatening or life altering medical need and this is not going to improve with the acquisition of two new local hospitals in these communities. Yes, our local hospitals do a great job for routine everyday issues but when serious or more medically challenging illness strikes, we must inevitably go south to Victoria or even Vancouver for adequate service.

This can be financially challenging for anyone especially for low income families. One must bear the cost of dual residence if treatment is day care and even if the patient is hospitalized a family member will wish to live and attend nearby.

Ask any local medical practitioner and he/she will confirm that we would all be better served by a single regional hospital rather than two minimally staffed and equipped local hospitals. We dodged a bullet when the feds nixed the Ryan Road site because of the air corridor. Let’s get off our parochial, self-serving bandwagon and demand a single, regional, full-service hospital capable of serving all of our medical needs in North Island from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy.

As for location, it should not matter if it is in Campbell River, the Comox Valley or halfway between the two communities. Location criteria should be determined not by pandering local politics but by affordable land acquisition, ready availability of infrastructure and accessibility.

As for distance, the Comox Valley and Campbell River are a mere 45 minutes apart. Big deal! Many people are farther away from their hospitals in Vancouver and Victoria and people who must travel all the way down from Tri Port must shake their heads at our selfish dog-in-the-manger demands for local preference.

Win Hunter

Courtenay