Hospital beds needed now

It is shocking to learn that there is no plan to increase the total number of acute-care hospital beds at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, and that our provincial government and Interior Health Authority are unwilling to commit to a date to complete the two care floors and two operating rooms that are shelled in at the new patient care tower.

The time to complete this work is now, not some vague time in the future.

As are many other people in the Vernon area, I am in constant pain from arthritis while impatiently waiting out my turn on VJH’s list for joint replacement surgery.

I was put on the list in August 2010 and told that there would be about a nine-month wait for surgery, which would bring the surgery month to May 2011.

Now, I find out that my doctor was only able to perform two such surgeries last month because his already prepared patients were cancelled at the last minute due to overcrowding in the hospital, a shortage of staff, and/or no available acute-care beds.

At present, he is attempting to operate on those who were booked in May and June 2010 and had their surgeries cancelled last month. Heaven only knows when my turn will come up or if my finally scheduled surgery will be postponed at the last minute.

I have had to forego my desire to fly to Europe to be with my only daughter who is expecting her first child. Nor will I be able to be there for the baptism in June. I’m sure many others on the waiting list have similar stories of lives put on hold while enduring this interminable and painful waiting. This is not to mention the frustration surely experienced by doctors who are willing and able to perform such surgeries and continually face cancellations and delays.

I feel strongly that the Ministry of Health must fund the Interior Health Authority to complete construction, provide the staff and open the new in-patient wards and operating rooms in the new tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Please, will all those concerned with this intolerable situation at Vernon Jubilee Hospital write a letter of protest to the following:

Minister of Health Michael de Jong, Room 337, Parliament Building, Victoria, B.C., V8V 1X4

Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster, 3209 31st Ave., Vernon, B.C., V1T 2H2

Norm Embree, chairman of the board, Interior Health Authority, 220-1815 Kirschner Rd., Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 4N7.


Gayle Moore-Morrans