Re: ‘Single hospital is the right decision’ (Gazette, Jan. 5) and ‘One regional hospital is the way to go’ (Gazette, Jan. 27).
As a SJGH employee and a health care worker for over 12 years, I have heard the various opinions on how VIHA should handle the decision regarding a new hospital for the Comox Valley, Campbell River and North Island communities. I have to wholeheartedly agree with both Win Hunter’s and Barbara Mellin’s articles in which they present many salient reasons as to why one, regional hospital serving the whole North Island is the best way to go.
If people think that two smaller facilities will serve the Valley, Campbell River and North Island residents better, then they are sadly mistaken.
I have worked and trained in larger centres such as Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and the two large Victoria hospitals. I cite those places because they have the staff and equipment to better serve the citizens living in those cities.
Why should we be any different?
What do people think is going to happen to the North Island in the future? That it is going to stay quaint and quiet?
Get real! How are two small facilities going to serve the aging and growing population that will be living here?
If developers get their way, the Valley will see a lot more people living here, which will lead to an increase in the need for improved access to hospital services. We have to stop our feeling of entitlement and be willing to actually drive more than 15 minutes to receive and, for those of us who work at the two facilities, provide better health care.
As Win Hunter says, “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.”
In the department I work in, we are constantly accommodating people living in Powell River and the Tri Ports (Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Port Alice) to serve them and provide services that they deserve. Try telling those people that it bothers you when you to have to drive an extra 15 to 30 minutes to receive care.