Anger towards staff misguided

Dar editor,

A big beef in reply to the misinformed but understandably frustrated writer in last week’s paper. Your anger towards the staff who work in the Medical Imaging Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital is misguided. In regards to the 15 month wait time to have a ROUTINE ultrasound done, yes it is not acceptable. I would love to hear, pray tell, what you suggest the staff who work there to do regarding wait times? Every ultrasound room is fully booked everyday day from Monday to Saturday year round. That’s what they are provincially funded to staff. Why don’t you look to your elected government to ask why they don’t provide more funding to staff the ultrasound department for more hours during each day to decrease wait times? Even if they did have the funding, you’d be hard pressed to find staff as there is a shortage of technologists province wide. This is in part because the government is not spending resources to expand the one existing ultrasound training program in B.C., or to fund other post-secondary institutions to open programs, or to provide wages competitive with other provinces. Province-wide, there are unfilled job postings for sonographer’s in every health authority. You also fail to mention that an UREGENT ultrasound request will shorten that wait time to a couple weeks. Physicians in the Valley are aware of the wait times, maybe your physician should have communicated the situation to you. Maybe the clerk did not call you back because they were too busy scheduling one of the dozen URGENT or EMERGENCY ultrasound requests they get daily. The staff are all doing their best to SERVE patients with the resources given. They serve those patients in order of the most sick and needful of care, as I’m sure you would want if it were you needing emergent care.

Hannah Hinz

Courtenay