It has come to my attention over the last couple of months, that there has been a concerning increase in wait time for pathology reports due to VIHA, or Island Health, as they now prefer to be called, planning on centralizing the pathology labs, removing them from our local hospitals. The wait time for crucial tests, for example the pathology reports for those with cancer, has increased already. This certainly causes added stress to those already experiencing the stress and fear from their diagnosis.
I have been involved in health care for more than 50 years. This is the way it used to be done. Then as more pathologists became available, more and more hospital labs had their own pathologists, and improvements were made leading to more timely results and earlier treatment. This is especially important for those with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Do we really want to take a step backward 50 years in our health care? Do we want to be put in the position of longer wait times before our treatments can commence? I think not! Are the pathologists in the central hospitals already struggling under an increased workload that was difficult even before all these added requirements? Absolutely!
It is important that we don’t let VIHA take us backward 50 years