New hospital must be planned with more beds
Re: planning for the new hospital
I had reason to visit the Cowichan District Hospital the other day and it was suggested to me the plans for the new hospital, when built, will have no more beds/accommodations than the existing one.
The existing hospital has 90 bed locations and when the new hospital is constructed it, too, will only have 90 locations. I certainly hope this information is incorrect! It would be absolutely ludicrous to construct a new, modern facility and not add more rooms. The North Cowichan and surrounding communities continue to grow yearly and any future infrastructure must include growth allowances. I believe they call this PLANNING.
I’m advised the current hospital regularly has approximately 130 patients most days, with the overflow being placed on gurneys in the various hallways or corridors. Why would the new hospital not at least have capacity to allow 130 beds in proper rooms? Better still, why would the planners and architects not realize they need more rooms to allow for the future? A more appropriate number would be 150 beds in proper rooms, in my opinion.
If money is the big concern, how about our local municipalities and CVRD directors creating a fee that is imposed on new home purchasers who move into the area? I’m thinking anyone who moves to this area would have to pay a one-time fee of say $1,000 (added to the purchase price of the home) and call it a hospital enhancement fee. This fee would not be applicable to taxpayers already living in the area and simply moving within our boundaries. Food for thought; a way of helping with the financial burden. Another thought — maybe scrap the damn railway initiative and use that funding for our increasing hospital needs.
I encourage the taxpayers in the Cowichan Valley to take the time to write or email their municipal leaders, directors, MLAs, and our MP to get the ball rolling in the right direction before the planning gets too far along. Let’s get this one right at the beginning.