The trees are down, half of Trillium Lodge visitor and staff parking spaces are fenced off and the site is crawling with white hats. Still, The News attempted a laudable but leaky and late attempt to speak to the issue of the so-called Oceanside Health Centre.
As for those fey souls who think this project is step one towards a full service community hospital, contact me. I have a bridge I would like to sell you. The reality is, when politicians spread our money around to score points (trust me, they do), this token gesture towards our growing community will delay the building of a real community hospital by at least a generation. The only possible exception is if we find the jam to turf this government out of office. For those few who think a community-scale hospital will be unsatisfactory, take a visit to Port Alberni and see what such a facility can be, especially if it is supported by its community and VIHA.
What we are suffering from here is an undemocratic, business-oriented health care authority. More than that, their CEO and his token board of directors got slapped down by the wise citizens of Campbell River and Comox Valley when VIHA tried to impose on them the profoundly stupid idea of building a regional hospital out in the bush, far away from any kinds of amenities normally needed around hospitals.
Our next effort should be directed at making the Vancouver Island Health Authority board accountable to the people they are meant to serve, instead of to the minister who appointed them on the advice of the president and chief executive officer who nominally reports to them.