Two small hospitals will not have drawing power to attract specialists

Dear editor,
We understand that VIHA has decided to build a hospital in Courtenay as well as in Campbell River.
I recently was made aware of the fact that in or around 2006 VIHA was considering building a regional hospital "in a neutral location" between Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

Dear editor,

We understand that VIHA has decided to build a hospital in Courtenay as well as in Campbell River.

I recently was made aware of the fact that in or around 2006 VIHA was considering building a regional hospital “in a neutral location” between Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

This to me is a very sensible solution to this ongoing challenge. Building two smaller hospitals, one in Campbell River and one in Courtenay, will not attract the necessary medical specialists to settle in either one of these cities.

Since February 2010 I have been volunteering as a driver for Wheels For Wellness (WFW). On an annual basis WFW transports thousands of patients to Victoria and Nanaimo to seek medical treatment from medical specialists that are not available north of Nanaimo.

WFW has 15 vans transporting patients each working day. Most of these patients are elderly and are unable to make the long journey to Victoria. Often times these patients are picked up as early as 4:30 a.m. to make their 9 a.m. appointment. These appointments can be for cancer treatments, eye treatment, hospitalization, pain clinics, etc.

As well, WFW makes trips to Vancouver for medical specialization.

To attract the necessary medical expertise (specialists) to the central part of the Island, we need a large regional hospital, rather than two small hospitals in Courtenay and Campbell River. Having one large regional hospital serves several purposes, one of which is that it would make the central island more attractive for qualified medical practitioners to settle in this area.

In addition it would make it easier for our aging population to find the necessary medical care without having to travel to Victoria.

Rather than submitting to “ill-perceived” public pressure, VIHA should take a leadership role and properly explain things to the residents of this area and build one large hospital along the Island Highway that would be easily accessible for Campbell River and Comox Valley residents.

The largest negative I have heard is that it would take as much as half an hour to get to the hospital from Comox.

However, that is nothing compared to what it takes to get patients to hospitals in major cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Toronto. It often times takes much longer to reach a hospital in these locations.

As the heading on the VIHA webpage indicates, “board members of VIHA are chosen for their leadership skills, decision-making abilities and willingness to be accountable.”

Certainly in this case leadership skills are of prime importance. Remember, it is never too late to make the right decision.

Jack and Henrietta Schenk,


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Federal justice minister consults with British Columbians on assisted-death law

During a coast-to-coast tour this week, federal Justice Minister David Lametti has… Continue reading

One last blast of winter tonight for the Valley before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

YANA celebrating its 30th annual Big Love Benefit Feb. 28

“The extra touches that the committee has added this year are going to knock some socks off.”

Comox’s Cooke wins Boating BC scholarship

Highland grad is currently studying in VIU’s marine mechanical tech program

Comox hit with record-breaking snowfall amid winter storm

Comox area saw 10 centimetres more snow than previous 70-year-old record

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

Most Read