Hallway medicine continues

I have had the opportunity and sometime personal misfortune to make use of Vernon Jubilee Hospital facilities...

In just the past several years, I have had the opportunity and sometime personal misfortune to make use of Vernon Jubilee Hospital facilities, from the emergency to the surgery departments, as well as the walk-in diagnostic services. Prior to this, my visits to hospitals were just that, to visit friends or family who were in hospital, with most of my medical needs being met by visits to the doctor. I suspect many of the population remain in the second category, thankfully.

So while in VJH, I have at first hand observed the crowded conditions that are in the bed wards and hallways, and the scurrying staff that strive to keep up with the demands therein, and do a remarkable job may I say under the conditions. I praise their dedication under duress.

So it was out of those experiences that I chose to make the effort to attend both recent rallies at VJH, on July 1 and just this past Labour Day.

It is understandable that it can be difficult for many to attend such rallies on such holidays, but that does not necessarily mean they do not care nor understand the crucial need for these two floors to be finished in the new tower which officially opened this past week.

Now is the time to finish these floors, to get the momentum behind this effort non-stoppable. For not to do it now will only push it down the way, one delay after the other, always something else to be the cause to put it off for another year, or two, or three and on and on. In short, in a distant future that may never come for many who will endure, or not, the stress of overcrowding, for both patients and care providers.

No doubt the new tower will alleviate some stressful conditions in some areas of the daily operations of VJH as it now exists. However, it seems inevitable that hallway medicine will continue at VJH, with code purple of overcrowding, stressful conditions for patients and staff.

As VJH serves the greater North Okanagan-Shuswap area, with our population growing and aging, I join the demand for an end to the delivery of hallway medicine at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Jim Starrett

Vernon