To the editor,
Residents of central Vancouver Island appreciate the good health care available in this province, including recent improvements that the B.C. government has introduced.
However, gaps still exist in many important health-care services in the central and north Island and other services are not at the same level as communities south of the Malahat. The population in the South Island is about 430,000, while the central and north Island population is more than 440,000. The central Island has the largest number of seniors in Canada and up Island is growing faster than the south Island. The care available does not match our medical needs and what our aging population requires.
The B.C. government urgently needs to expand medical services at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to match those in Victoria, as outlined in the NRGH priority services plan. These changes are required to provide the standard of care expected for a population of this size, and for proper access to this care. The services that must be addressed are cardiology, including the critical need for a cardiac catheterization laboratory, cancer treatment (in a cancer centre) and mental health. There is also an urgent need for a new patient care tower at NRGH.
This level of accessible health care should be implemented within the next five years, as it is a critical link in the provision of health care on Vancouver Island, and one that will benefit all patients.
Michele Ney, chairperson, Nanaimo Riding Association, B.C. Green Party
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
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Mail: Letters, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 777 Poplar St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2H7