Action needed at VJH

Public support strong to have B.C. government complete and operate the two shelled-in floors at the new VJH Polson Tower

The public showed strong support over the summer months requesting our provincial government to complete and make operational the two shelled-in floors in the new Polson tower.

When the official opening took place in September, Michael de Jong made it clear that the provincial government was committed to complete what it started.

At that time, both the mayor and our MLA also confirmed that the two floors would be completed, “Sooner rather than later,” with a strong hint that by the end of this year (2011), or by early spring, a date would be announced to begin the work.

Mention has been made how the new facilities are helping in so many ways and deep appreciation has been showed to our provincial government.

With the visit of our health minister, eyes were opened as to the chronic overcrowding at VJH (number one in the Interior) and the shortage of acute care beds here in Vernon, which serves the North Okanagan and Shuswap.

Also, figures have been confirmed that more than 3,000 people are waiting for all kinds of surgery, and due to the extreme and lengthy waiting times, some dear folk who have waited so long (in suffering and in pain), they have now died before they could receive help.

What an unacceptable situation we have on our hands. As someone has said, can this happen in Canada? No wonder our minister of health has felt the need to promise help.

I hope all who read this letter will take a few minutes and do the following:

Write a short letter to your local newspaper, especially if you are one of the thousands waiting for surgery; and/or to Michael de Jong at

All letters received are monitored by our provincial government as they are sensitive to public opinion, whether to the editor or to the minister.

The government has asked for public opinion. We dare not be silent.

As long as the two floors remain unfinished, patients waiting for surgery face a very uncertain future in our hospital.

Just to mention, one of my good friends is still waiting after one year for surgery. She is still constantly in pain and now cannot move part of her body. The doctor informed her, “You are on page seven of my waiting list.”

There are no short cuts to try and answer the crisis we are facing.

The Government knows this. The public has placed its trust and is waiting for an answer.

Peter Hill