November 20, 2009
North Island MLA Wins Commitment on Intensive Care Unit at Campbell River Hospital but Cancer Concerns Remain
(Victoria) After weeks of uncertainty North Island MLA Claire Trevena extracted a commitment on the future of Campbell River Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
“The Vancouver Island Health Authority has said it will do ‘whatever necessary’ to ensure the ICU remains open, and that commitment was underlined by the Minister of Health when I questioned him in the Legislature,” said Trevena.
Trevena, and Opposition Health Critic Adrian Dix, have held meetings with Campbell River doctors and the health authority to resolve the issue. Trevena’s contribution to the successful resolution was acknowledged by the Health Minister, Kevin Falcon on Thursday.
“It’s a relief for everyone concerned - and that means everyone who needs health care in the North Island,” said Trevena. “But this is only for a locum: that’s a fill in. We still have to ensure full time physicians are in place to make sure the ICU, and the hospital, continue to function.”
Trevena also raised concerns in the Legislature about the cuts in the number of endoscopies at Campbell River hospital. Doctors have said that there are 800 people waiting for diagnostic endoscopies, and the wait list will mean some patients are at risk of a delayed cancer diagnosis. Recent cuts announced by VIHA will mean 200 endoscopies will be cancelled and 50 surgeries struck from the list.
“The Minister of Health talks about BC’s reputation for cancer care, but won’t accept that part of that success is early diagnosis. Endoscopies are an effective screening tool, but people in the North Island are being screened out by VIHA’s cuts,” said Trevena.
Contact: Sandra Doran 250-287-5100
Constituency Assistant to Claire Trevena. MLA http://bcndpcaucus.ca