Flaw in medical response

Letters

Editor:

This letter was sent to B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and copied to Coast Reporter.

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I recently had experience with almost the full range of the B.C. health care system (ambulance, emergency care at Sechelt Hospital, helicopter transfer to Lions Gate Hospital, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery). I am writing to compliment everyone I encountered in our system, from the paramedics who got me to each place to the medical staff in the emergency rooms and on 6 East at Lions Gate. It would be hard to imagine a more caring, professional group of people.

There was only one flaw in my whole experience. The helicopter ambulance from Sechelt Hospital’s helipad needed to fly to YVR, meaning another 40-minute ambulance ride for me to Lions Gate after the 20-minute flight. There is a commercial helipad at the SeaBus terminal area on the Vancouver side, as well as a helipad at the shipbuilding yards in North Vancouver, only a few blocks from Lions Gate Hospital. A suggestion would be to contract with one of these two locations for a per-use fee or a longer term agreement. The shipbuilding yards site may need a few upgrades, but I don’t see any major expense would be needed to do this. Making such arrangements would enable a much more rapid response time for emergency transfers and care. Also, I would hope that any future hospital construction or additions would include a helipad close by.

Gene Scanlan, Sechelt

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