Stop the bleeding of healthcare services

North Islanders suffer as medical services are eroded.

Dear editor,

An open letter to interested parties:

Everyone talks about the doctor shortages and lack of services, but many other medical services are also being eroded at our local hospital.

Both Port Hardy and Port McNeill have ultrasound machines sitting in heated rooms in each hospital, not being used. Lack of trained technicians is the excuse. Meanwhile, every person requiring an ultrasound needs to line up and wait for an appointment in Campbell River.

Not only do these people need to pay the cost of travel but many need to take time off work and therefore lose a day’s pay. Each of these people still are required to pay the same amount for health care premiums as those persons in the south who are better served. For us, it is less services and more pay. Many people can be at risk because of long wait lines.

I am a prime example myself. Monday, Mar. 10, I went in for a physical. I have an aortic aneurism (AAA). The doctor indicated that the bulge in my artery appeared to have increased in size and ordered an ultrasound.Faxing off a requisition to Campbell River, I finally got an appointment for Apr. 23.

What do I do for over five weeks if this bulge pops? Put my finger in it and hope the doctors can find the leak? If it does pop, I will have three-and-a-half minutes to live.

By the way, my doctor is also leaving, having spent only a little over a year as a resident doctor. This is the second family doctor I have lost in two years.

When will the bleeding of our services stop?

Walter J. Kehoe

Port Hardy