New advocacy group calls for more health-care facilities at Nanaimo hospital

New advocacy group calls for more health-care facilities at Nanaimo hospital

A new advocacy group is calling for help at the Nanaimo hospital where it says there is a huge disparity between health-care facilities in the capital city and their region.

They claim the difference and lack of resources north of the Malahat is not balanced – with the population booming and aging.

The group, called Fair Care Alliance, also says the hospital and its staff are nearly always overwhelmed.

“I would say we’re never below 400 patients in our hospital for a 346-bed facility, so we are those people in the news where you’re in hallways or where we’re in storage closets getting care,” said Donna Hais, the founder of Fair Care Alliance.

Hais says there are a number of inequities in healthcare for those south of the Malahat when compared to those north of it, especially when it comes to cardiac care, which could mean the difference between life and death when emergencies happen.

“We have the oldest population in Canada living in [the] Central Island, we have the most acute care of patients living on Central Vancouver Island. It’s time for the provincial government to do the right thing and fund a cath lab and a new hospital bed tower in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.”

The issue of unequal cardiac care between Nanaimo and Victoria was first raised by health care providers in August.

The Independent MLA for Parksville-Qualicum called for a new cath lab and patient tower for the hospital in the legislature Thursday.

“Why does the minister of health continue to refuse to listen to Island Health and when will the NDP commit to funding the desperately needed patient tower at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital?” asked Adam Walker.

B.C.’s Health Minister responded, saying, “We’re building hundreds of new long-term care beds, which are significantly needed in that community, delivered that, and we built a new ICU, a new high acuity unit, and we are now building a new cancer centre for Nanaimo. These are unprecedented investments in that hospital,” said Adrian Dix.

Dix says he knows the region’s population is growing and the ministry will need to continue to invest in Nanaimo.

Hais says her advocacy group has started a new online petition calling on the government to fund a new patient tower and cath lab at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and says she hopes this will be an election issue in the region in the upcoming provincial election.

A link to the online petition can be found here.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!