Health Watch decries diminished local services

By Contributor
February 17th, 2012

Dear Editor,

The list of downgraded services in our health care system steadily grows, whether it is in the emergency room, the ambulance service, community nursing, public health nursing, home support services, hospital care and so on.

The tragedy is that there is a whole generation of younger people now who have no idea what constitutes a good health care system. The Ministry of Health Services, and its servant, the Interior Health Authority, now run our health care system on a business model whereby the lowest level of health care is the benchmark of success. The benchmark now is not what constitutes good health care but what they think the community will tolerate in terms of downgrading or removal of services before they shout “Enough”.

Castlegar & District Health Watch and similar groups in other West Kootenay communities have been researching and documenting the changes made to our health care system in this area since 2002 and some definite trends have emerged.

1) Centralization and reductions in health care services and options which penalize the patient in a variety of ways;

2) The addition of costly expansions to hospitals while basic health care services are being cut back here;

3) The lowering of criteria for standards of health care services here;

4) The downloading of costs on to patients and the creeping privatization of services which were previously publicly subsidized;

5) The deliberate ignoring of input from stakeholders (patients, families community groups, nurses, doctors etc.) on community health care;

6) Burgeoning costs in IHA’s administration as it constantly implements new organizational structures and additional levels of supervision.

Have we , the public, had enough yet? What else are you prepared to tolerate?

Sincerely, Sally Williams, Castlegar & District Health Watch, 250-365-3126

Categories: GeneralHealthPolitics