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Letter: Keep old hospital open for other services, when new one finished

Those vital beds could be used for detox programs, long-term care, outreach work

Keep old hospital open for other services, when new one finished

Dear Health Minister Adrian Dix:

Cowichanians applaud Premier Eby’s recent announcements about doctor remuneration, and decisions for our province to open more doors for internationally trained doctors to practise in B.C.

These decisions are most logical considering medical staffing needed to care for our aging population, plus health-care crises surrounding homelessness, opioid addictions and COVID-19.

Therefore Minister Dix, we urge our health ministry to preserve, maintain and repurpose our current 1960s-era Cowichan District Hospital once our new, much-needed CDH opens in our near future.

Our current hospital bravely and routinely performs reported miracles, under strenuous conditions and strained staffing levels, while caring for a vast array of folks from Cowichan and beyond.

It makes infinite sense to keep our aging CDH — sporting approximately 100 beds, three operating rooms, a busy emergency ward and other crucial amenities — as our Island welcomes more patients and sorely needed medical professionals.

Those vital beds could be used for detox programs, long-term care, outreach work, and treatment of many other maladies.

Please visualize the Cowichan Valley as offering a medical industry of sorts. Keystones would be two working hospitals with training opportunities for immigrating doctors plus medical care students spanning doctors, RNs, care aids and others.

Incidentally, shouldn’t tuition for educating and retraining doctors, nurses and other care-givers be free, given our sky-high medical-care needs?

We welcome all efforts local governments can make to help our health ministry recruit more medical staff to Cowichan and beyond.

Health-care proactivity at all levels seems the right prescription to address our urgent medical crises.

Thank-you Minister Dix for considering our ideas.

Yours in smart health care,

Peter W. Rusland

Duncan

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