Plenty of money to spend – except in Sooke

Local politicians have spoken long and hard, but to deaf ears.

Premier Christy Clark and Health Minister Terry Lake were gleeful as elves at Christmas when they announced they were opening up the purse strings to extend operating hours for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals and clinics.

Lake said he wished the ministry had acted sooner on what has been a long-standing concern of doctors and health authorities. “The radiologists have certainly been letting us know about it,” he said.

The extra scans should start to show up by year’s end, and once the increase reaches $20 million a year in 2019, there should be 45 per cent more procedures done than the current rate.

Still the province prefers to ignore Sooke’s legitimate complaints on the growing lack of medical diagnostic services here.

For years, district council has had concerns over health-care quality, timeliness and availability.

The biggest beef, but not the least, is the lack of adequate x-ray facilities.

The currently facility, run by a private company, only operates one day a week for two hours.

The equipment is so outdated that doctors tell their patients not to book an appointment there, but go to Victoria General Hospital in View Royal or St. Anthony’s Treatment Centre in Langford.

The x-ray facility is only part of the problem.

Sooke needs more doctors, but can’t attract any physicians without a larger clinic.

Then there’s the lack of medical programs for youth and women. Women who have been diagnosed with at-risk pregnancies must go to either the West Shore or Victoria to see a doctor. And Sooke’s ambulance response time lacks well behind other Greater Victoria jurisdictions.

Sooke is considered part of Greater Victoria, a metro area. The bureaucrats don’t believe we’re isolated because we’re within 28 kilometres of a major medical centre.

They should have traversed windy Sooke Road last week when heavy rains and winds flooded the roadway and backed traffic up for hours.

Local politicians have spoken long and hard, but to deaf ears.

The municipality has offered to fundraise for proper x-ray facilities, but to no avail.

The Health Ministry is stuck in its own red tape and powerless – or unwanting – to fix the problem.

It seems overly simplistic that if the private operator can’t provide adequate service, it should be asked to leave or lose its billing licence.

Lack of common sense and will is at play here. It’s too bad it puts peoples health at risk

•••

Kevin Laird is editor of the Sooke News Mirror. He can reached by email at klaird@blackpress.ca or by phone at 250-642-5752.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The State of Aging: COVID-19 exposed a long-term care system already in crisis

A look at Greater Victoria’s aging population and what that will mean for the future

Police seek ‘high-risk sex offender’ last seen in Victoria

Scott Jones is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being ‘unlawfully at large’

Oak Bay home ready to house refugees, immigrants

District leases two village homes to Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

Central Saanich police sport personalized face masks

Masks feature the crest and individual officer pin numbers

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read