To the Editor,
Re: VIHA’s lab plans remain on pause, May 17.
This article regarding the proposed consolidation of Nanaimo and Campbell River microbiology services to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria outlined the recent developments.
According to the article, the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Crow, stated that VIHA believes it makes sense to consolidate microbiology at Royal Jubilee, because it employs staff with a high level of expertise in micro-medical biology.
This statement could be regarded as highly insulting to the microbiology staff at both Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Campbell River District General Hospital.
The laboratory technologists working in south, central and north Island locations have all received the same rigorous educational and training standards from accredited institutions.
The north and central Island staff are no less qualified or experienced than their Victoria counterparts.
For NRGH alone, the cumulative years of experience of the 21 technical staff in laboratory technology is in excess of 365 years. Many of these staff have had 30-plus year careers in microbiology alone.
If Dr. Crow was referring to the medical expertise of the three medical microbiologists currently overseeing diagnostic services, all Island microbiology departments and physicians have full access to these staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week for consult as required.
As such, microbiology staff at NRGH cannot help but feel slighted by the suggestions of Dr. Crow’s statement.
Until such a time that any final decisions are made regarding consolidation, NRGH microbiology staff remain committed to performing their duties with the same high level of excellence and care as they always have.
Catherine Brzoza and Gina Lassen