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The equipment is so outdated that doctors tell their patients not to book an appointment there, but go to Victoria General Hospital in View Royal or St. Anthony’s Treatment Centre in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

 

Just Posted

Sooke trade show targets local business

Sookrama planned for April

Added webcams give drivers more views of Malahat and highway to Sooke

Five new DriveBC webcams installed in high traffic locations on Vancouver Island

Four Grizzlies crack NHL’s central scouting list for 2019

Newhook, Campbell, Bucheler and Berger earn NHL notice

Legend of Victoria dog ‘Cody’ lives on with successful pet drive

Charmaine’s furniture store collecting donations for Victoria Pet Food Bank

Royals test unbeaten streak on Hockey for Hospitals night

Marty and the Victoria Royals host Hockey for Hospitals night on Feb. 2

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

POLL: Do you support a speculation tax on vacant homes in Greater Victoria?

Homeowners have begun to receive letters asking if they should be exempt… Continue reading

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Most Read