OUR VIEW: More blood clinics needed

If Canadian Blood Services want more donations, it should make it easier to donate

Canadian Blood Services recently called on residents to make 150,000 blood donations by July 1 as part of our country’s 150th anniversary celebration, with limited edition collector pins available to those who answer the call. Events are also scheduled in cities across the country to underline that it’s in us to give, and it’s critical that we do, to which we all agree.

When you consider that one in two Canadians will need blood at some point in their life and summer tends to be a period of high demand, we encourage those who can to roll up their sleeves and pitch in.

Unfortunately, the only fixed location which serves the entire Capital Region is on Saanich Road near Uptown.

The problem for people on the West Shore and in Sooke is that makes for a time consuming process, especially when you factor in the two-hour round trip in optimum conditions. That can be even less user-friendly when you factor in the Colwood Crawl, a situation that will be exacerbated as work on the Mckenzie Overpass kicks into high gear for the next 18 months.

Although Canadian Blood Services does allow you to book ahead, that can be adversely affected by how busy the clinic is on any given day. With hours of operation set at no later than 6 p.m. on weekdays, it’s time to take a closer look at ways to make it easier for people to donate.

It’s difficult to understand why the hours on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday couldn’t be tweaked to stay open until 8 or 9 p.m. as a trial balloon.

Canadian Blood Services currently holds mobile clinics every eight weeks in Sooke.

We recognize that resources are scarce, and there aren’t any plans at this time for another permanent clinic to serve a growing region, so Canadian Blood Services needs to do more to make it easier to give the gift of life.

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