Health should come first

We are all aware of the shortage of beds at our hospital and the cancellations of surgeries. There is a new tower being built with two floors that could be used, so why are they not going to be used?

Our population keeps growing, young, old, they all need at some point to be admitted to the hospital for some reason or other. Unfortunately, there is no room in the old hospital and with cutbacks there are no funds for more beds. Patients are lined up in the hallways, in closets, some are sharing ER rooms with other patients that they don’t even know. I have been admitted to the ER and have been in the same room with others whom I didn’t know, not even a curtain for privacy.

Interior Health needs to open its eyes and see what is going on, but they, like so many others, turn their heads the other way. In September of 2010, there was a cutback for imaging, so it you needed a CT scan or other imaging after 10 p.m. you had to wait until the next day. This is a 24-7 must-have in any hospital, it could be a life-saving scan, a scan that can’t wait for the next day.

We need extra beds, more nurses and doctors and other staff. We also need new medical equipment, especially an MRI scanner. We don’t need to have them two or five or 10 years from now, we need them now. There are many patients waiting to have an MRI done, I am one of them. I suffer from spinal stenosis of the lower back, the wait time is four-to-five months for an urgent MRI, this is also being on the short list and the cancellation list, and who knows how far any of us will have to travel?

I, like so many others, have to live with back pain, numbness in my legs and not being able to live life the way I could be. So many others are in this same situation or worse. Life is too short.

Interior Health needs to know that our hospital can’t keep operating the way it does, patients can’t be kept in hallways or closets, the health of these patients and the hospital staff are at risk. They deserve better and for those of us that are waiting for tests of some sort or other, we deserve better.

Interior Health needs to take a closer look at what is happening, they need to fund the opening of the new in-patient wards in the new wing at the new Vernon Jubilee Hospital. I thank all the nurses and doctors, along with all the other staff and volunteers for the work they do, they are run off their feet, you have my heart-felt appreciation.

There is so much inane spending within our government, their priorities are ass backwards. Our health and education should be the government’s first priorities. Our Minister of Health needs to be a person who understands what is going on in our hospitals, to see for him/herself the extent of these cutbacks. We need a doctor in that chair, who knows where to allocate the funds to.

We need to write to the people who should be listening to the public and doing what is best for all of us. Write to Interior Health, the IHA board, patient care quality office (complaint department), to our Health Minister, and The Morning Star.

I have sent these letters to the individuals as mentioned, my orthopedic/spinal surgeon is fighting for the funding to make the in-patient wards with more beds and the additional operating rooms usable. Our doctors are there to help us get better and have a better quality of life. I can’t say the same about the government, can you?

C. Redman

Vernon