EDITORIAL: Photo-op bypasses real issue at VJH

There’s no question that the end of construction of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s new tower is a positive step forward.

After all, the structure will provide expanded space and state-of-the-art medical technology for a growing region.

However, it’s also extremely obvious that those responsible for the structure are trying to control the message that goes out to the public.

During the official presentation of the keys Monday, considerable praise was directed towards health care workers and how the tower will expand opportunities for patient care.

But amidst all of the suits worn by politicians, Interior Health Authority administration and contractors, you couldn’t find individuals who will actually work in the building. There were no rank-and-file nurses and the physicians didn’t find out about the ceremony until after the fact.

Their absence suggests the powers-that-be were concerned about what might happen in front of the media. The doctors and the nurses might have pointed out that while the tower is welcome, it will do absolutely nothing to ease chronic overcrowding.

That would have placed pressure on IHA and the provincial government to explain that except for ongoing rhetoric, absolutely nothing has occurred to increase the number of acute care beds. With the construction crews wrapping up their activities, that means the two shelled-in floors will not be developed immediately.

But it may also make sense that the doctors and nurses weren’t invited to the ceremony. You wouldn’t want reality to stand in the way of a photo-op.

—Vernon Morning Star