Not enough transparency from government and VIHA

Re: Article by Marissa Tiel, May 13/20 – “Pandemic puts nurses in challenging circumstances

With thanks to Ms. Tiel for the story outlining some of the current challenges faced by nurses at the Campbell River Hospital. We hear so little in the media about what is happening in Campbell River in relation to the pandemic.

The statement by BCNU representative Rachel Kimler – “I wouldn’t say morale is great, because it hasn’t been great for two years” – caught my attention. It wasn’t that long ago that your paper published a story confirming the hospital runs at over-capacity on a regular basis, and there have also been a few articles about reductions in local pathology services. The response by VIHA representatives was that the level of pathology services has not declined in our area, but as an outsider to the hospital environment, and from these articles, it appears there are a variety of tensions at our hospital that can no longer be contained.

We hear about transparency from government and VIHA representatives in public statements, but it doesn’t seem that there is transparency about why morale is an issue, or why the hospital runs at over-capacity, or in particular, why pathology services are being increasingly centralized in Victoria with a private corporation of pathologists having the ability to “grant” work to Campbell River or take it away.

The hospital and VIHA are publicly funded institutions with a responsibility to communicate to the taxpaying public why certain decisions are made, or why situations are the way they are. I encourage your staff to keep reporting on the issues facing our hospital and to keep requesting statements of explanation and public accountability from VIHA and the provincial government.

Yours truly,

Vivian Hermansen

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