Letters to the Editor

North Isle oncology

I have been writing to politicians, the B.C. Cancer Agency and VIHA since November 2013 regarding the erosion of services at the Nanaimo Regional Hospital cancer clinic.

Our one oncologist has been moved (all but for Fridays) to Victoria to join a team of 17 oncologists. Our one oncologist serves the population from Ladysmith north.

I have received “cookie cutter” letters from the bureaucrats explaining the bureaucracy and who is responsible for what.

I was informed by the Quality Care unit that recruiting for oncologists was happening at present. I asked many times if this recruitment is for a full time position for Nanaimo, but have had no response. More than one oncologist is actually required for the number of patients there are.

Why are the tax dollars collected, from North Islanders, being spent on the Victoria clinic? Many cancer patients from up Island are required to go to Victoria for treatment. As well, many requiring radiation are relying on volunteer drivers to drive them to Victoria on a daily or weekly basis.

Radiation treatments should be available to North Islanders locally. The population on the Island continues to grow with many retirees moving here. More services are required now, and will be necessary in the future.

What is plan B for the North Island if a natural disaster occurs? An earthquake or blizzard could make the Malahat impassable for a long period of time.

Lets keep tax dollars paid by our residents to provide and improve services for patients at NRGH.

Donna Newall

Nanoose Bay

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