Cumberland dialysis centre needs nurses

Dear editor,
Being on kidney dialysis for almost a year and half I have learned patience and forbearance — however, it has been more than four weeks since Health Minister de Jong stumbled his way through the grand opening celebrations of the newly renovated kidney dialysis unit in Cumberland on June 13.

Dear editor,Being on kidney dialysis  for almost a year and half I have learned patience and forbearance — however, it has been more than four weeks since Health Minister de Jong stumbled his way through the grand opening celebrations of the newly renovated kidney dialysis unit in Cumberland on June 13.As of July 13, 2011, the nursing staff, the patients, or other attendees have not received an apology from the minister for his insensitive and inappropriate  comments. It makes me question his credibility as the minister of health, but maybe I am expecting too much from him as a politician and a decent human being.I am not sure why the Liberals wanted to make a big whoop-di-do on June 13. The physical renovations to the building were mostly complete — six new dialysis machines plumbed and plugged in — (minor things were not completed — closet to hang jackets, dishwasher installed).However, the most important components to the unit were not in place on that date, i.e., additional nursing staff and new ergonomic chairs (on order, I have been told).Currently, there are six residents of the Comox Valley that are being shipped down Island for dialysis treatments because the funding for additional nurses is not in place. It is shameful that there are qualified nurses in the Valley that only work part time or on-call and would love full time employment, and that there are dialysis machines that sit idle for most of the week. During the opening ceremonies, I heard MLA Don McRae make the commitment that all residents of the Comox Valley will be able to have treatment close to their home. I know firsthand the hardships of having to travel for treatment — I travelled to Victoria three times a week for the first two months of my dialysis treatments. That meant getting up at 3 a.m. and not getting home until 6 p.m. or later — transportation was worse then the treatment.Well, Mr. McRae, I think it is time that you applied some pressure to the minister of health and/or VIHA to find the funding to help mitigate the suffering of his constituents.Ron Watanabe,Comox