Open letter to premier: fund hospital project now

Open letter to premier: fund Penticton hospital project now

To the Editor:

Dear Premier Christy Clark,

Thank you for coming to tour Penticton Regional Hospital on Friday, Feb. 15.  We appreciate that you took time out of your busy pre-election schedule to visit and tour our facility.  However, your lack of commitment to the Patient Care Tower is unacceptable.

You indicated that this project will move forward “based on need and not politics”. This project has been the number one priority for Interior Health for three years.  Our community then wonders how the approval and funding for Kamloops hospital parking lot and Vernon’s extra inpatients beds leap frogged ahead of Penticton’s  Patient Care Tower. The Concept Plan which included a preliminary business plan has been in the hands of your government since September 1, 2012.

This is obviously political and NOT about providing excellent patient care by proven performers.  Other Okanagan communities have had more capital expenditures over the last 10 years as compared to Penticton at a ratio of more than 4-to-1 dollars spent per person per year – it is our turn.

Our need is desperate and long overdue.

You also commented that you “will fast track and kick down barriers” to review the business plan and yet, the projects in Vernon and Kamloops were approved by Treasury Board without the business plan in place.

We must have a public and clear commitment from you and your BC Liberal party that Penticton Regional Hospital Patient Care Tower will be approved and construction will start as soon as possible.  Nothing else is acceptable.

We will continue to advocate loudly and strongly for our patients, our region and all of the allied health care providers.

We expect to hear in your budget release on February 19, 2013 that Penticton Regional Hospital Patient Care Tower will be approved and construction can begin.

Dr. David Paisley, MD, MBChB

President of Penticton Medical Society