Short sighted and irresponsible



Our Burns Lake hospital is losing doctors and nurses. It is difficult recruiting more staff without proper facilities.

Our hospital is losing an operating room and emergency services.

Doctors and nurses are frustrated because they are limited in providing the most basic of hospital operations. Burns Lake had more medical facilities and services in the 1960s through to 2000 than it has now.

It is short sighted and irresponsible for the current governments to provide fewer services. Rural communities are crushed and crashing due to decreased services.

Rural communities cannot survive without doctors, nurses, and ‘real’ hospitals to keep and attract residents.

We cannot accept a lower level of service than what had previously.

In an effort to provide more efficient spending, urban centers are considered a better bang for the buck. Consistent travel on highways causes increased risk, accidents result in huge additional cost to individuals and to the medical system.

Larger hospitals are experiencing higher levels of infections and transmission rates are faster, also costing millions more than previous levels.

If provincial authorities believe large urban centers are a better bang for the buck, I want to see the cost analysis.

I believe the difference is that rural residents are simply expected to absorb the higher costs, including risk to life and limb.

B.C. now has an 85 per cent urban population. The simple reason for this is that urban centers are getting most of the services and infrastructure at the expense of rural communities. The net result is that the cost and risk of rural living is now unacceptable to many people, especially aging Baby boomers, those on low incomes and Aboriginal communities. This trend needs to be stopped, or turned around, here and now.

The odd thing is that retirees are now heading out of large urban centers. As a resource based community, Burns Lake is servicing an area population of 10,000 people. It is reasonable to demand full hospital services.


Keith Van Tine