End-of-life care funding must be a priority

Dear editor,
St. Joseph's General Hospital hosted an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their presence in the Comox Valley.

Dear editor,

St. Joseph’s General Hospital hosted an event Friday to celebrate the historic 100th anniversary of their presence in the Comox Valley.

It was a wonderful event that reminded us of how fortunate we’ve been over the years to have benefited from the initial invitation to those courageous nuns who came here to care for our forefathers.

As a young girl who was raised here, and as a nurse, who has practised here for many years, I have seen many changes and improvements in our health care brought about by many caring, dedicated and hard-working people.

In her remarks, Premier Christy Clark pointed out how fortunate we are to live in this fantastic valley. She noted that we have become a magnet for seniors — in fact the baby boomer capital of Canada.

Also noted was the investment that the Province is making in our health care with the new hospital, which will improve our medical care and help each of us have long, healthy and fulfilling lives. Painfully absent from both the premier’s and minister McRae’s remarks were any commitments to addressing the hospice palliative care each of us will need as we approach the end of our lives. We deserve care that is equitable to that received in any other community both on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in the province.

How can we as a society — as a community — believe that compassionate care of the dying is not a pressing priority, especially in this community?

While the Comox Valley may be one of the best places on earth to live in, I would also hope that it is a place that provides humane and compassionate care for those who are dying here.

To do so, our government needs to make funding for end-of-life care a priority.

Those who are dying can no longer advocate for themselves. A caring and companionate government and community must now do it for them.

Barbara Simonson,

Comox Valley

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