is it too late?

It's going to be hard to change perceptions about the new health centre

A lack of communication seems to be the biggest obstacle to any cohesion when it comes to the new health centre being built in Parksville.

At a recent event in the city, Dr. Clair Biglow mentioned how a lack of communication between local doctors and the Vancouver Island Health Authority are contributing to misinformation about what services — and which doctors — will be filling the new building.

VIHA’s lack of communication prior to the ground being broken on the new facility is hardly surprising.

What is surprising is local doctors feeling this way about the quasi-governmental body that’s supposed to be their employers. Imagine their surprise, then, when VIHA’s Dr. Bob Burns appears at Parksville city council this week and tells local politicians that finding doctors for the new centre is going well and filling the offices there shouldn’t be a problem.

That’s certainly not how some local doctors feel.

It certainly isn’t how many residents feel things are going — especially when the opportunities for open discussion on the health centre just haven’t been there — unless they’re strictly-controlled events.

People feel left out of this process. And what has been done, is done. There’s no going back for many people and the centre is forever going to be some kind of white elephant.

As many proponents are now saying, the proof will be in the pudding.

Their efforts to educate people on the benefits of such a facility are made all the more difficult by the lack of information that had dogged this project from day one.

On the outside, the health centre is a good addition to the community that will, undoubtedly, help, people stay healthier, closer to home. It has room to expand and bring in additional services when warranted and there should be no reason why so many people cast a wary eye on the construction site.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done. It’ll take a Herculean effort to change this perspective.


— editorial by Steven Heywood