It was with considerable surprise that I heard that the provincial government has budgeted $600 million to build new hospitals in both Campbell River and Comox.
This, while refusing to spend any more than $15 million on a building that only provides services that duplicate what we already have here in the area.
This may partly be a result of the comment made at the demonstration in front of our MLA’s office recently where it was stated that Comox did not have a hospital. This was of course correct at the time. Information I have received since moving here is that Comox has one of the best hospitals on the Island.
Having had the experience of attending the Nanaimo General on a Saturday evening recently and joining the lineup waiting for medical attention it was obvious that more emergency facilities are needed.
There is however the possibility that there are requirements for more laboratory services here as I have had occasions where there have been long lineups at the existing clinic.
The problem I have with building new hospitals where they already exist is that the travelling time and distance can be crucial. With this in mind I find that the distance between Comox and Campbell River is approximately 48 kms. This means anyone living between the two is only 24 kms from a hospital, whereas Parksville is 32 kms and Qualicum Beach is 41 kms from Nanaimo.
As well, there is only one road access to Nanaimo and as anyone who has ever been held up by an accident knows there is no other way to go! Port Alberni is 48 kms and that is not an option.
If the intention of the powers that be is to have a building to house offices to provide information on better home care, I question why we need the medical centre at all.
Therefore we need overnight beds and basic hospital services in this area!
Richard A. Young