Letter: Too many cutbacks

Letter: Too many cutbacks

(File photo)

I put this little editorial in the Edmonton Journal years ago, and things have not changed.

Cutbacks, cutbacks. The government tells us to cut back? Maybe they had better clean their own backyard before they tell us lower types to cut back. They cut back on our education system, they cut back on our health programs, they pretty well closed all the mental health facilities. How do they expect these people to make it on the street when the average person is having a hard time making ends meet?

I myself have been in and out of the Oliver hospital for the last six weeks. (Bad news, I am going to live.)

I would like to give all the staff at the hospital a big bowl of sweet cherries for their hard work. They are so short staffed, but they do their best with what they have to work with.

I often wonder whatever happened to candy  stripers? They would volunteer their time after school and they loved it. They helped pick up the dinner, mop the floors, or whatever had to be done, plus it gave them a chance at work experience and to see if this was a future job for them. This gave all the nurses more time to spend on their patients.

Tommy Douglas was the premier of Saskatchewan. He was the man who introduced our medical system to Canada. He would be rolling in his grave to what is going on today. The Americans used to come to our country for our medical; they could not afford their own medical. Now Canadians are going down there because a lot of the medical graduates go to the United States because they make more money.

There should be a law: if you get trained in Canada, stay in Canada. We need you all to stay home (in Canada). Prince George got a brand new wing to treat cancer. It is great. Now people don’t have to go to Vancouver for their treatments, but again, there are not enough doctors and nurses.

Crystal Clear, Oliver


  1. I would agree with most of this, some cut backs are unavoidable in that computers, digital data bases, and advances in telecommunications have rendered some jobs non existent. However there are orders of magnitude between something that can be simplified properly and something that cut back for the sake of a cut back. They announced that Oliver Hospital was getting 1 million dollars for renos and updates, I almost fell out of my chair, while not a small amount it does not go far enough in addressing the deficiency at OGH. Many in power have seen it as a small town hospital, that it may well be. It is however a hospital that services many surrounding communities. For them OGH is the difference between an injured person and dead person.

    I know from my visits to the hospital there have been numerous times where I see a doctor and nurses chatting for up to an hour at the desk. Anything from how a fishing trip went, to how someones kids are doing at school, while interesting it is taking away from their duties while at work. That 30 mins to an hour could very well be used in helping another patient with their issues while at the hospital. While this is not every doctor and nurse there, it is very noticeable to those waiting who can over hear their conversations. Personally I like to see a busy doctor who is moving from one patient to another, I don’t want to see them over worked or rushed, but at the same time I don’t need to see or hear them chatting up the nurses for an hour. I have seen many hard at work as well who are on the go and on point. They are there to assist you with your issue and once that happens they are off to the next person.

    I think towns that try and retain doctors through housing programs and town owned properties are very much the right direction. We do need to give new doctors in town a leg up in establishing themselves and setting up a practice. My solution would be a couple town owned apartments or homes that can be provided to doctors specifically for up to 2 years. This would allow them to look for their own rental or ownership with less pressure. They would pay market rates to the town within reason. While trained in Canada, Stay in Canada is a good idea it needs limits. Just like student loan forgiveness programs for remote Canadian communities, we need something that benefits smaller communities but doesn’t tie a doctor down to more then 3 years anyone community. There needs to be almost a non compete clause that if you take your training in Canada or a province you are required to give at least 3 years back to that province before moving. While a first glance this may look to be punitive, it is in fact only a measure to protect that provinces investment in health care professionals.

    I think in the end we really need to take a long look at what is not working for Hospitals that serve multiple communities. We need to develop practical solutions that aren’t bogged down in Interior Health reports and paper work.


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