Health care has never been a business

Writer wants the attention and help from the Premiere

Mz. Clark:

It’s September now, and change is in the air, you have made several in your working environment. Not sure I agree with all of your choices, then again your choices are becoming somewhat limited these days. Those changes may have slowed that sinking feeling the papers talk about but it doesn’t do anything for our emergency room closures here in Princeton. As you very well know through past letters and phone calls, our emergency room is closed four nights a week. You may also recall that the residents here find this unacceptable considering the 24/7 shifts that run at both mill and mine sites. The 3rd busiest highway in the province, a large senior population, and the constitution of this country ought to be viable enough reasons why we need the emergency room open 24/7.

I realize that the I.H.A. reasoned that there wasn’t enough ‘business’ to keep our E.R. open, but let me remind you that health care has never been a business. You can play the economy card in other realms but not health. Not in Canada, we are far too rich a nation to deprive anyone of their guaranteed rights. The constitution of this country says the federal & Provincial governments are committed to: (c) providing essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians. *  * Are you prepared to tell anyone in British Columbia that this does not apply to them?

It’s clear repetition works, our southern neighbors still use it effectively enough. I’ve watched Canadian politicians ‘stick to the story’ repeatedly. It’s just laziness really. Allow me to demonstrate. The emergency room in Princeton remains closed four nights a week. See, simple & easy. A different take would be, we’re waiting for a simple contingency plan to be completed by I.H.A.

It seems finding doctors is beyond their realm of ability. A bit alarming considering their authority status on all things health related. Like a plumber who seems to have misplaced the pipes…or a political party in search of its principals.

Mz. Clark, our emergency room has been closed four nights a week on a ‘temporary’ basis, for months. Your last minister of health was ignored when he tried to evoke action. Even after your cabinet shuffle with new eager ministers in place, still closed four nights a week. Odd, I.H.A. continues to say we are a top priority. Again, troubling because no results are forthcoming. Residents here are neglected.

A shuffle does not in any way absolve you of the problems this province faces. I have asked you repeatedly to address this issue. Medicine is not politics, though, ironically enough, if you were to do something to alleviate the suffering here you may possibly heal your own public image.

The typical dodge is to redirect me to the newly minted minister of health. Not a problem as I have already informed Mz. MacDiarmid of our situation when she was the minister of labour. She chose to ignore queries into the legality of this crisis, her having the ability to issue an order of essential service and all. She is out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak with regards to her new position. As health minister she can force her I.H.A. underlings to finish what should have been completed months ago.

Now, fully informed, your offered opinion to new health minister MacDiarmid speaks (with authority) to the need for a fitting conclusion. Please fix this, or get Mz. MacDiarmid to do it. It’s why you put her there isn’t it, because you had faith in her abilities to take on the health portfolio? It would look good on you both to resolve it. Then you wouldn’t have to be reminded that the emergency room in Princeton is closed four nights a week.

Sincerely Tired of Waiting

D. Dobie, Princeton

*See Part III  Equalization & Regional Disparities