Hospital surgery

Resident surprised by the goal to purchase more orthopedic surgical instruments

My husband and I have supported Light A Bulb, a very worthy campaign, for years and, as a retired nurse who worked surgical, pre-operative and medical floors at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, I have seen the wonderful results from this annual fundraiser.

However, this year, I am very surprised that the goal is to purchase more orthopedic surgical instruments. Unless the health care system has changed drastically since my retirement, this seems to be a case of putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

Yes, it would be great to decrease the wait  list for total joints but, as Dr. Dooley states, the lack of instrumentation is only one reason that more surgeries are not performed.  Does the hospital have the provincial funding to do more total joints, first of all?

Then, if there is funding to do more joints and to open another operating room, will there be nurses and technicians to staff it? The next consideration is the ongoing bed shortage, and we all know people who have had their surgery cancelled as a result.

The new floors opening soon will only net an extra 14 beds. If we get past all those hurdles, will there be bedside nurses, physiotherapists, and all the other support staff required to adequately care for these additional patients?  And lastly, surgeons usually have individual preferences regarding choice of instruments; so instruments purchased for those currently operating at VJH, might not suit an incoming surgeon.

I know this is a cause close to anyone who is waiting, in pain, for a new hip or knee and I hope we can see the waitlists shorten sooner rather than later, but I believe the emphasis has been wrongly placed on trying a quick fix with more instruments.

There are bigger issues to solve first. As I, apparently, am one of the growing senior population, I too may be on a waitlist down the gray road.

June MacGregor

Vernon