With our municipal election pending it is important to focus on the important task of choosing the leaders of our community.
We sincerely hope everyone possible will exercise their right and privilege of voting Nov. 19.
Our hospital is of huge importance. Six years ago we came very close to losing it. Many people did not think that would happen but it came very close. Our new and inexperienced council was blindsided unexpectedly at one regional hospital board meeting by other very experienced politicians.
As a result of that meeting we were to have one regional hospital which was to be built a good distance from Campbell River and the other communities of the North Island. Our hospital was to be reduced from a fully functioning acute care hospital to little more than a clinic.
It took members of Citizens for Quality Health Care and our wonderful, dedicated Doctors making presentations to all the councils of the North Island and regional hospital board, attending many meetings, collecting a petition with over 19,000 signatures, (presented in the Legislature on Nov. 7, 2007), holding town hall meetings, writing letters to VIHA, the government and the media, doing a tremendous amount of work researching and communicating with the public, a couple more years and the newly-educated politicians to have that motion rescinded and another motion whipped in to get it turned around to go back to the two-hospital model to meet the needs of patients of all the North Island.
Brenda Leigh, of Area D, a very experienced director was instrumental in this turnaround by making those two motions which were quickly passed by all the North Island Regional Hospital Directors.
This is a very critical time for our hospital. If we are not careful who we choose for Council we could lose all the work, effort & continuity we have all put into achieving what we worked so hard for thus far to have a new fully functioning acute care hospital.
There are some influential people in the Comox Valley who are attempting to go back to revisit the one hospital model away from Campbell River. People who advocate a take over of our council with all new people may not realize what could transpire if that actually happened.
Citizens for Quality Health Care (of which we are members) is also issuing a press release urging the politicians to pay attention to the real problems and the voters to reject the calls to re-open this divisive and unproductive debate to revisit one regional hospital.
Imagine then, losing our hospital to the detriment of all the patients of the North Island.
Also consider the financial impact to our economy. All staff would be gone, the doctors would be gone, the service industries to the hospital would be gone. Few people would want to retire here. Campbell River would shrink considerably.
Claire Moglove has been right on top of the hospital issue and continues to deal with it as the priority it is. Brenda Leigh (Area D) has been a real champion, extremely valuable and well versed on the hospitals issue all along as well.
A couple of candidates did not support the two-hospital model, some don’t have it on their radar or encompassed in their campaign material but incumbents Roy Grant, Andy Adams and Mary Storry do. They have always strongly supported the two-hospital model.
Three new candidates have been educating themselves as much as possible on everything to do with the past six-year struggle for our hospital: Larry Samson, Mark Sullivan and Patricia Gagnon.
We all must remain united and vigilent and not blindly believe VIHA and the government as there have been many times they completely lost the trust of the public with their flipflops and their past continual efforts to make Campbell River accept far less than we currently have with our hospital. We are not going to pay taxes to have our hospital downsized or our services reduced.
We need leaders to represent US so that our fully functioning acute care hospital and services don’t go off the rails again.
Lois and Ed Jarvis