Letters to the Editor

Hospital conditions unhealthy for patients

To the Editor,

I enjoy reading letters about the congratulatory and praiseworthy efforts concerning Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and staff.

Unfortunately, I experienced the other side of the coin.

Due to severe pains, I was taken by ambulance to the new emergency department,where everything seems to be working well and assistance was enthusiastically forthcoming.

However, I was told that I would soon be moved to another ward with expert medical care and a more comfortable bed since treatment was expected to last several days.

After about two hours in emergency, a staff member said that I would be moved in a few minutes.  Fifty minutes later an orderly appeared, and wheeled me to a third floor section located close to the main elevators at the front of the building.

Arriving there, my bed and I were pushed into a dingy, unlit ward and almost freezing blankets were provided. When I asked if the heat had been turned off another staffer decided I needed more blankets and handed me more cold ones. Eventually I obtained a heated blanket by walking around the corridors and asking for one.

To say the ward itself is not fit for patients is a gross understatement. Two wards are connected by a common washroom with signs to “please knock before entering.” One toilet and one small sink are all that are provided for four or more people. The toilet itself was grungy and I was glad I had slippers on when I walked on the floor since it was scratched up and could contain who-knows-what. There were only two staff members on duty on that floor and hardly any patients were visible.

After spending two hours in this totally miserable place, I decided to call for a ride home and check myself out as I do not believe I could be expected to stay in such abominable conditions. I have visited better facilities in Third World countries.

I hope some renovations are planned for this part of the building soon as I find it scandalous that sick patients in Canada should be required to accept such an intolerable situation.

Jim Wilcox


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