Staffing a mystery at new health centre

Bricks and mortar are fine, but who is going to actually do the work?

In reference to two pieces published in your newspaper referring specifically to the hiring of staff for the new Oceanside Health Centre (The News, Oct. 19; and an editorial by John Harding (The News, Oct. 26).

VIHA’s director of service development Sheila Cruikshank talks a good fight when referring to hiring staff for the new health centre, but at the same time, absolves herself of the responsibility of hiring staff by coyly stating “that staffing is a matter for VIHA and appropriate unions to work out.”

I understand that priority is in the search for professional medical personnel and support staff which should be the prime responsibility of any manager, so, just who is in charge?

A case in point is that we have had in this community for a number years a clinic (the Parksville X-Ray Clinic) that has served the Oceanside area very well, providing an excellent, efficient and speedy service, administering care to countless patients a day without the bureaucratic hassle and long waits which are so prevalent in our present-day health care system.

It is my understanding that these facilities will be transferred to the new health centre but none of the 15-plus staff have yet to be told whether or not they will be hired.

These employees have served the community well over the past many years. They live here, their children go to school here, they have friends here, they are active in the community and they want to stay here.

Being employed by a small private company, they belong to no union.

It is less than two months to Christmas, and the New Year, and these employees and their families deserve answers to whether they will be retained or not, instead of sitting under the Sword of Damocles awaiting Cruikshank’s decision, who brushes off the matter by saying that they may be found jobs elsewhere within VIHA, presumably at the bottom of the union totem pole.

Sounds like bureaucratic bullying to me.

Hazel and Peter Pickering