To the Editor,
The new hospitals in Campbell River and the Comox Valley will have 95 and 153 beds respectively. Nanaimo is listed at 256. I realize that all those hospitals should have more beds than Port Alberni and area, but for us to have only 52 at West Coast General Hospital is ridiculous.
The problems of overcrowding caused by extended-care patients being in WCGH aside, I don’t think that 52 acute-care beds is adequate. Also, I see no immediate possibility of the Island Health Authority funding and operating a new multi-level care facility here (40-60 beds). We will get a few new dribs and drabs at Rainbow Gardens. A private facility would bankrupt most local patients. While good, home care is a marginal add on.
Our old hospital could accommodate 100 beds, but was downsized to 80 by closing the fifth floor and then closed for a new facility of 52 beds and an atrium the size of a football field (a very costly, unnecessary boondoggle).
As an aside, I should note that Alberni Valley patients needing extended care could possibly go to facilities on the east coast of the Island.
Well, as long as everybody is happy with not adding eight new beds to WCGH and accept few new extended care beds, guess we’ll have to see what happens.