Due to a medical condition that effectively ended my living an independent existence in Ontario since 1982, I was surprised and shocked to discover that in the almost 30 years that I had lived away from the Okanagan and the population of Vernon had almost doubled; Vernon Jubilee Hospital is still dealing with the same amount of beds even with the much overdue and needed new tower to which the ER, OR and Labor and Delivery have been housed.
As my medical condition makes ambulance trips, ER visits and stays in the hospital a foregone conclusion I have since my return in 2011, been horrified to see the conditions that our wonderful and diligent medical community, special shout-out to all the volunteers as they would not function without you, have to work under.
On one visit I was lucky enough to be put in a bed in the new labour and delivery ward.
My single room was the size of my apartment in Toronto with a lovely on-suite bathroom.
Don’t get me wrong it was a beautiful room.
Was it what Vernon needed?
Not in a million years.
My next visit, to juxtapose the situation nicely, I was on a bed in the hallway of an extremely overcrowded second floor in the old tower.
My medical care was absolutely as good as I had received in the new tower though I have no idea how the staff managed it.
Even if there were a single bed added to each room on the labour and delivery floor that would be some help. But what is really needed is more beds!
Take those two empty upper floors and fill them with singles rooms (much needed in cases of infectious issues), semi-private and four- and six-bed wards.
We don’t need country club facilities.
We need to be able to lower our surgical wait times and provide the medical care that the people of Vernon deserve.
Whoever is making these decisions sit up and take notice.
Our poor track record of wait times etc. are just as much a result of bad planning and no actual sense of Vernon’s real medical need.
And, while you are at it get busy with creating more facilities for elderly chronic care as right now these patients are also being warehoused at Vernon Jubilee waiting for a space at Polson special or someplace like that and we all know what has to happen before a space comes available for that to occur.
Those in power please do the right thing and take a good honest look at this issue before it becomes too difficult to deal with at all, and our medical staff throw their hands up in despair and leave the field.
Lesley Ramsdale, Vernon