Health care missing the mark

Resident concerned about the condition of health care in the province

Premier Christy Clark, for a period of 10 days, Feb. 15 to 24, I was a patient at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. For the first eight days, I was in a four-patient ward and the remaining two, I spent in the hallway, not in an alcove but rather in the hall which is used by patients, visitors and support staff.

I was directly across from the clean laundry cart with very little room for traffic and certainly not enough room for a bedside table or chair and certainly no room for patient/bed transfer.

I was given an early discharge due to overcrowding and the stress I was subjected to in a high-traffic corridor.

I observed Third World, inhumane medical care at its finest. I was left on a gurney due to a lack of proper beds. Hallway medicine is not good for either patients or their family who try to administer to the needs of their loved ones due to a lack of staffing.

Doctors and nurses are at their wits’ end, trying to cope with the lack of staffing, overcrowding and there is no end in sight.

Why has our medical care fallen to such low standards while our health care premiums have steadily risen?

Ms. Clark, you are very proud that there is a budget surplus, but it has been made on the backs of those most vulnerable: the very young (students), the very old and the very sick.

It is the poor folks (the 99 per cent) who take the brunt of your budgetary cuts, especially those who have paid into the health care system via mandatory premiums for many years.

This is not what was anticipated in the autumn of our lives.

And please, do not give me and my fellow Vernonites the old saw about our new tower of care. It is our community that has been fundraising to equip it, not the government. Do not take any laurels in that regard.

Vernon Jubilee Hospital doesn’t just serve Vernon but a rather large population in the Monashees, Revelstoke, the North Okanagan and sometimes in the Kootenays.

Beds are being taken up by people who need to be placed in assisted living, but, of course, there is a shortage of those facilities too.

This problem has been ongoing for years now, and you and your government are very aware of this situation.

The government of B.C., the executives and department heads should be ashamed of themselves, and this includes you Ms. Clark, of the state of our health delivery system,

You, Health Minister Terry Lake and MLA Eric Foster are always there for big photo opportunities when things look good, but your absence is quite conspicuous when answers and solutions are needed.

Marianne Salewski

Vernon