EDITORIAL: Proof of the need for more beds

The larger portion of it may be new, but Vernon Jubilee Hospital still isn’t equipped to handle the current patient load, and very well may never be.

For some unknown reason, there’s been a spike in patients at the hospital, far exceeding the 148 funded acute care beds available.

And it’s cases like this week that help solidify the fact that we need more beds.

That will hopefully be achieved in 2015, when the two shelled-in top floors are completed. The project is currently in the final stages of selecting a contractor.

The two floors will contain 60 beds – 14 new and the remainder relocated from elsewhere in the hospital.

Now wait just a minute.

Millions of dollars are being spent and raised to open these floors, yet we’re only getting 14 new beds? And what exactly is Interior Health going to do with the space from those relocated beds? If they do have a plan that should be made public. But from where the numbers stand, the numbers hardly seem sufficient to fill the need.

Especially when you consider that, on Thursday the hospital had 196 admitted patients. So that means they were short 48 beds that day.

Now it’s not as if these patient loads are an everyday occurrence, but they are sure to happen again.

So how much of an impact will 14 additional beds make?

Obviously its better than none. But perhaps, before the final contractor is selected, the fine citizens of Vernon should speak up to IH and politicians about the need to increase that number.

Maybe additional beds will come with time, but those beds can’t come soon enough.

And there’s no time like the present when it comes to improving health care.



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