It is sad to hear and read of so many ongoing, diverse and controversial issues being raised relative to the new Oceanside Health Centre, originally scheduled to open in June.
In addition to the limitations and now delays, in both the services and hours of operation eventually to be offered, the apparent staffing problems, unanticipated cost increases and the centre’s chosen site location — quite off route and convenient to neither residents of Qualicum Beach or Parksville — it is not at all surprising that many established Oceanside-area physicians, together with, and in support of, their patients, seem to be giving the facility a thumbs down.
From its very concept, the general opinion for the health centre put forth at the time was that it could never fill the needs more specific to this area, so highly populated with seniors deserving of a higher standard of medical care and attention.
Yet, and notwithstanding public opinion, the facility was given the go ahead anyway — apparently at all costs, even to now requiring another $1 million.
Where was forethought? Was it, too, left on the back burner with the taxpayers’ will for a hospital?
Whether completed as planned — on schedule or not — a health centre will never eliminate the ongoing medical transportation need for the countless area residents who are required on a regular basis to travel to medical specialists and hospital facilities available only out of Oceanside.
And when a need does arise, necessitating the finding of one’s way to the new centre, when it is eventually up and running, it is hoped that consideration has been given to making it accessible to all area residents, including those who do not drive or are no longer able to drive or who have mobility issues.
Has some kind of shuttle service been arranged for residents to access this out-of-the-way clinic?