Health care: How long must we wait?

Three years ago I was diagnosed with two hips which were at the acute stage and needed surgery in the very near future.

I am writing this letter in hopes that others on Vancouver Island will also write letters expressing their frustration in regard to wait times for elective surgery.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with two hips which were at the acute stage and needed surgery in the very near future. I visited a clinic in Victoria regarding the matter and was advised by one of the surgeons that I would not be considered for surgery unless I was using a cane, walker or came riding in in a wheelchair.

At the present time I can no longer walk or sit for any length of time. I am on painkillers almost 24 hours a day in order to allow myself to be somewhat functional. I receive a maximum of four hours sleep per night even with the assistance of pain killers.

Why is it that the provincial government has little desire to solve such problems? On their website, they list hip replacement surgery as a wait of 56 weeks. This is so far from the truth that it is embarrassing to think that this government is so wrong in their assessment. As yet, I am not even able to get on the waiting list for surgery. I am presently 72 years old and will be more than likely in my 80s before my term arrives. My next door neighbour is awaiting his surgery; he is on the waiting list but has been told that he must wait 26 months.

The Cowichan District Hospital is approximately the same age as St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. It is basically held together with duct tape. I recently had an ultrasound evaluation in a closet. This hospital is in desperate need of replacement. I admire those who work in this facility as they achieve excellence even under very trying circumstances. Surely, they deserve more from our government.

Do we constantly live with the frustration that most of Vancouver Island is New Democrat while the government being Liberal, is not about to assist the residents of Vancouver Island with a better quality of life?

I know that I am among hundreds of people who are waiting for elective surgery and am quite willing to wait my turn, as I am certain that there are those who are even more desperate than myself. Surely this government in power is sensitive enough to assist those who are in need of medical assistance, no matter what their age.

If you are reading this letter and are in agreement with my thoughts, please begin a letter writing campaign as well. Let’s really make a noise to those in power! Many thanks for reading my concerned letter.


Garth Williams