Elect VIHA board

There's only one way to ensure the VIHA board is accountable

On the same day the news reported the premier’s announcment about new hospitals at Courtenay and Campbell River, they also carried a much more substantial update story on the missing hospital for Oceanside.

The difference between the two stories is that our sister communities didn’t accept the original anti-community decision by VIHA to build a bigger regional hospital to serve both communities, proposing to locate it way out in the bush, remote from either community.

They pushed back and forced VIHA to reverse its decision and replace the old hospitals in each of their communities instead.  What they understood is that bigger and more sophisticated hospitals don’t give local people access to urgent health care in a timely way. Oceanside is the only community of its size on Vancouver Island that doesn’t have that kind of access.

The vast majority of people coming to ERs are people who need medical attention for non-life threatening problems. We shouldn’t have to travel miles along a highway and join the end of a six-hour lineup to have a broken leg fixed, treat a sick child or senior, or get a diagnosis that can be taken care of by old-fashioned common-sense medical treatment.

Now that VIHA has locked us into paying for a glorified doctor’s office that will be of use to few of us, the next step is for us to fix VIHA.

To do that, we need to make sure the directors of VIHA are accountable to their communities, not to their own CEO and the minister of education.

If each regional district on the Island were to elect or appoint directors for a fixed term, that would result in a perfectly manageable board of 10 people, each subject to re-election/appointment every three years.

Drop in on our website, oceansidecoalition.org and leave us some contact information. If you are not online, phone me at 250-248-2268.

John Olsen