Bed shortage at West Coast General Hospital needs solving

An overcapacity issue at WCGH has prompted a concerned letter from resident Frank Kruks who was moved five times in his four-day stay

Frank Kruks refers to the place he stayed to heal following gall bladder surgery ‘cattle stalls separated by curtains.’ It was the last of five places he was placed during a four-day stay at West Coast General Hospital.

Sadly, Kruks’s experience is not new. And he is not the only person to complain about being moved around, and being put in a temporary area separated only by curtains.

The bed shortage at WCGH is critical, not only for patients but for the staff members that must care for patients in an overcapacity situation.

While the provincial government has said it will hire 1,600 more nurses across B.C. by the end of March, more staff is only part of the solution.

Health critics say people needing long-term care are taking up the beds that critically-ill or surgical patients need. So the issue is not isolated to one department or one ward, or even one hospital.

Local politicians have been saying for years that we need more long-term care beds in the Alberni Valley.

How do we go about changing things at that end, to relieve pressure on our hospital?

We realize the bed shortage at WCGH is endemic of health care all over British Columbia and Canada, but it doesn’t mean we need to stand for it.

Now if only we could find a solution.

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