Dividing services will weaken both hospitals

Dear editor,

Many people may have great expectations for a new hospital in the Comox Valley but there are facts they should be aware of.

Dear editor,

Many people may have great expectations for the promised new hospital in the Comox Valley but there are a few facts they should be aware of.

The initial vision of a great regional hospital has been downsized to a community hospital with “some regional services.” The hospital in the Comox Valley will be the same size as the new hospital in Campbell River.

VIHA plans to move the Department of Psychiatry to the Campbell River Hospital and claims that this was the request of the regional hospital board. So much for preserving the specialty services in the Comox Valley.

Unless the new hospital has enough space and operating time for five general surgeons, the coverage of this service will stay divided between two communities, as it is at the present time.

The shortage of long-term care beds and the lack of any plan on how to deal with the increasing number of elderly patients in the Comox Valley will in time lead to the same partial paralysis of acute-care services, as is experienced now at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Dr. J.J. Simice,

Comox