North Island MLA Claire Trevena has called on the government to release the business plan for the $600-million North Island Hospitals Project.
“Some select people have been able to see the business plan on how $600 million is going to be spent, how decisions were made, how the construction will evolve – but the health authority categorically refuses to make it public,” she said in a press release. “I hope that the Minister of Health will share it with the people of the North Island and put to rest some of the serious concerns we have.
“People in the community want to make sure that if we are spending $266 million on Campbell River Hospital – 40 per cent of which is being paid by local taxpayers through the regional hospital board – we get what we need.”
The current Campbell River hospital is designed for 59 patients but regularly has as many as 83 people in care. While the new hospital will have 95 beds, many in the community are concerned this expansion will not meet the needs of the growing population over the 50-year lifespan of the building. Yet doctors who expressed concerns about the hospital plans have been told that if they do not agree, the hospital would not be built, Trevena told the legislature.
“I was appalled when I heard that the doctors were intimidated in this way. I heard of other health care workers who have been told that if they questioned things, it would mean we would not get our hospital,” said Trevena, describing the situation as blatant political gamesmanship. She spoke of the constant overcrowding in the hospital, with surgical day care beds regularly being used for other patients because there is no space elsewhere, and of patients being left on stretchers for days at a time because there are no beds.
“People have worked long and hard for high quality health care in our community,” said Trevena. “After years we have agreement that we will have a new hospital. Let’s make sure it serves everyone’s needs.”