Waiting lists cause concern

At the beginning of this year my wife was taken by ambulance to Vernon Jubilee Hospital resulting in a disc being removed.

At the beginning of this year my wife was taken by ambulance to Vernon Jubilee Hospital resulting in a disc being removed. We remain deeply appreciative to all who tended to her needs. Everyone from our first phone call to final departure behaved not only in a very worthy professional manner but with much personal consideration and care, such that our gratitude to them will always remain.

But we did have concerns as regards to the facilities that were available. The first bed was in the laundry room, followed by two nights in a hallway before recuperation in a ward with three men, two in frequent states of undress, one of whom who could not control his bowels. My wife and myself were compassionate and understanding toward their need and nothing detracts from our gratitude toward all staff, our love and gratitude will always remain. But we do hope that with the opening of the new wing, the accommodation difficulties we experienced are now well and truly cured.

But are they? Fourteen months ago my wife was diagnosed with needing a new shoulder and was placed on the list. The delay in her operation has caused her to slowly lose the use of shoulder, arm and hand, all well documented in her medical file. We expect to take our turn in the line, therefore what we write is not for ourselves alone but for all others who are on a protracted waiting list for surgery.

By digging and delving into available IHA information (provided you are determined and patient enough to research it), we discovered that as of the latest figures, Sept. 28, there are a total of 876 people who have been appropriately diagnosed as waiting for surgery for ankles, wrists, feet, hips, knees, shoulders and backs.

They are distributed over five surgeons with waiting lists of 25, 92, 164, 287 and 308 respectively. The surgeons have no hope of coping with daily need, let alone the backlog. Consequently, through no fault of their own, the patients are being cured at less than the speed of a slowly dripping tap, causing the surgeon waiting lists to increase and extend themselves month by month.

Please, for the good of all concerned, we call on those who hold the financial purse strings to extend themselves into correct action that is worthy of all waiting patients and the hospital staff, who despite the valiant job they accomplish, does not in itself provide an answer to the progressively extending waiting lists.

David Church