Hundreds turned out for a protest recently against a potential move of the Lions Vision Centre from Armstrong to Vernon. (Laryn Gilmour - Black Press)

Keep Lions Vision Centre in Armstrong

LETTER: Financial decisions can be difficult to make, but the well being of patients should not be disregarded

Re: Closure of Lions Vision Centre in Armstrong

I am writing to support the Lions Vision Center in Armstrong. Remaining operational not only benefits the region, it has a direct impact on the public, in particular the elderly.

Eight times over the past 10 years, my family required essential treatment by three different Vernon ophthalmologists at the Lions Vision Centre.

At each appointment, we witnessed a vast number of senior citizens.

We saw disabled seniors with mobility issues that required walkers or wheelchairs.

We also saw friends or family members there to help stabilize an unsteady or visually impaired patient.

The Lions Vision Centre’s design simplifies effortless access with easy parking and pick up. It has excellent equipment with surgery and procedure rooms.

These are major advantages for seniors. Patients can easily attend to their appointment and leave the clinic, unlike that of the hospital. The hospital is crowded, busy, confusing, and has issues with parking.

Attending the hospital is generally an overwhelming experience, especially for someone who is elderly or physically disabled.

See: Hundreds rally for Armstrong vision centre

The Vision Center in Armstrong is a division of Interior Health that has its own building, staff and space. It functions well in this location. It alleviates hospital operational pressures and its remote location is unlikely to change.

Being annexed from Vernon Jubilee Hospital is a desirable solution, allowing the hospital to utilize space which would be better suited for additional beds.

My question to Interior Health is this: How are you basing your decision to move the clinic to the hospital?

I feel the patients are not being considered at all. It appears that Interior Health is making a financial decision and not one that benefits the people who use the facility.

With regard to whether or not to move it, the health authority is quoted as saying that “a lack of specialists may force its hand.” A lack of specialists in Armstrong would mean there is a lack of specialists in Vernon as well. So why move?

Financial decisions can be difficult to make, but the well-being of patients should not be disregarded.

Marlene Schmor


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