Two North Island hospitals will not do the job of one regional building

Dear editor,

Reply to Jim Gillis, Area B director:

Dear editor,

Reply to Jim Gillis, Area B director:

With all due respect to Mr. Gillis, the “recent well-qualified letter writers” have been trying to advocate and channel energies for well over a decade.

Mr. Gillis makes his arguments as if these opinions have just arrived on the scene! They have always been there … just consistently ignored.

VIHA decided (after actually talking with and listening to the “qualified”) almost a decade ago that one regional hospital would best suit the needs of the North Island.

Then the vocal “passionate, (but unqualified) letter-writing” minority rose up and for reasons known best to those lacking a spine in government, the idea of one hospital was thrown out.

We were at the top of the list but continuous squabbling between communities allowed VIHA to sit back and do nothing for almost a decade. Where were our prudent hospital board members then?

Off wrestling pros and cons somewhere, I am guessing, because they certainly were not listening to the voices of passionate and qualified health care providers.

Managing chronically ill seniors and others into appropriate beds and good health care has been an issue for longer than a decade, but we are not one step closer to solving that today than we were 10 years ago. The well-qualified professionals have not been listened to on THAT issue either.

Oh wait … that’s likely because we didn’t have a committee. Unfortunately, the recent negative letter writers were too busy channeling their energies into taking care of patients.

He states that the sites are established? Then why is there an article in the paper indicating that the residents are “raising the alarm over the proposed rezoning” where this underfunded little community hospital is to be built? The city is “looking to sell the playing fields” doesn’t sound established to me.

I think the “good service of our great hospital” has been solely the result of the unwavering efforts of dedicated professionals and caring souls who attend there daily. If you truly and honestly want to respect them, give them a properly funded regional hospital where they can give “great service in a good hospital.”

If you really want the negative letters to be a positive force for good health care, I suggest you read them and perhaps listen to what they are advocating.

Mr. Gillis’ arguments centre solely on saving money.

He and others continue to miss the point that cost-effective and appropriate health care is not always best served by being “penny wise and dollar foolish.”

He says we are in good shape financially. Glad to hear it. Because without one properly funded regional hospital, we will continue to endure shortages of specialist physicians, nurses, technicians, equipment and our underfunded beds will still be poorly utilized.

No matter what happens to St. Joseph’s tired old buildings.

Our health care here on the North Island for the next 50 or 60 years is going continue to fall far short of what is needed for us and our children, while money will continue to flow into the regional hospitals to the south.

But as we drive south to see that specialist who has no reason to locate in a small community hospital, we will have plenty of time to ponder the three million reasons Jim Gillis thought having a regional hospital in the North Island was not a prudent plan.

Now there will be a challenge for all of us.

Barb Mellin, RN,

Comox