Open letter accompanying the Lakes District Hospital replacement petition presented to MLA John Rustad, March 15, 2011.
It is very alarming to hear that the plans for our new hospital facility in Burns Lake will not have a fully functional operating room with a recovery room.
There has been a serviced hospital with physicians in the area since approximately 1919 and not to continue to provide this very important service would be a disaster for Burns Lake.
Even though Burns Lake is one and a half hours from Smithers to the west and Vanderhoof to the east, a good percentage of the residents live at least another hour from Burns Lake making it over two and a half hours drive to the nearest necessary medical service.
Burns Lake would not be an attractive location for physicians to come, without a fully functioning operating room. We will also not be able to attract other professionals or young families to our area without these necessary medical services. It is the snowball effect, young families leave, schools close and jobs and services are lost. Build it and they will come.
There has been talk that Burns Lake would not be able to staff an operating room (that there needs to be a staff of over 15). Former operating room nurses and an administrator have said that it is not necessary to have 15 to fully staff an operating room in the past.
The residents who have signed this petition are requesting a fully functioning operating room in our new hospital in order to attract and retain physicians to our area.
There are well over 1,900 signatures on this petition representing a population of 2,500 in Burns Lake and 3,492 people in areas B and E in our regional district.
Surely we deserve this service.