Residents rally for more hospital beds

A grassroots effort is seeking to end the delivery of hallway medicine at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

A grassroots effort is seeking to end the delivery of hallway medicine at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

A community rally on Monday aims to strengthen the message to the B.C. government about the need for acute care beds at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“VJH is the most overcrowded in the Interior, it just doesn’t make sense to delay the opening to the two floors in the new tower while patients remain in hallways at the hospital waiting for a room,” said Peter Hill, a local realtor organizing the rally. “I am informed that the new tower will not answer this issue until the two floors are opened up.”

The event will feature guest speakers including invited local provincial representatives. All elected representatives have been invited to comment on how the government will alleviate the overcrowding situation at VJH.

The rally, held in the parking lot of the Polson Tower, gets underway at noon sharp with guest speakers including former Okanagan-Shuswap Member of Parliament Darrel Stinson.

Stinson knows full well the importance of acute care beds and has himself undergone five major surgeries in five years, with his personal battle with cancer.

“I have personally witnessed patients waiting in hallways for hours, and even weeks hoping a room becomes available,” said Stinson. “The government must act to finish the two floors that are scheduled to sit empty and sealed off while North Okanagan patients suffer.

“The government claims funding is the issue but I would say that government priorities are the issue here and that overcrowding at VJH should be a No. 1 priority for the government.”

Citizens of Vernon and surrounding area are urged to attend the rally, “in sending a clear message to B.C. government, that acute care patients should be treated with the dignity that they deserve and to put an end to the hallway medicine delivered at VJH,” said Hill.