Ocean Park Medical Laboratory. (Aaron Hinks photo)

LETTERS: Lab relocation an ill-planned idea

Re: Residents react to laboratory relocation, Jan. 24.

Editor:

Re: Residents react to laboratory relocation, Jan. 24.

Open letters to Fraser Health’s regional medical director of laboratory services.

I am writing to ask you to reconsider the closure of the lab in Ocean Park. This may look like a smart move on paper and at a distance, but the realities of the situation would suggest otherwise.

Peace Arch Hospital is under stress from the growing community, and as you know is in expansion at this time. Parking is disrupted and other services no doubt will be confused, to say the least, as the process continues. The last thing we need is a new clientele driving in from Ocean Park to White Rock trying to find expensive and probably unattainable parking while they attend the lab. Then there is the problem that they will have no idea how long the process will take them when they are there, because of the crowding etc. as the process continues. The last thing we need is a new clientele driving in from Ocean Park to White Rock trying to find expensive and probably unattainable parking while they attend the lab. Then there is the problem that they will have no idea how long the process will take them when they are there and therefore no idea what to pay for parking, which for regular lab users would become a major expense.

Then we look at the demographic. We have many seniors, for whom both travel and personal mobility can be issues. Parents with young children will be needing to take more time off work to accommodate the new reality, and our community here will have lost a valuable local resource.

Surely a more forward-looking move would be to enhance the Ocean Park lab as the new go-to place for lab work? Advertise it and encourage people to go there, instead of adding to the stress at the hospital. If you did not have a lab at Ocean Park already, I cannot think of a better idea than to open one! It takes the pressure off the hospital, parking is easy, services are quick and predictable, there is no spread illnesses people are subject to in hospitals and hospital parking is freed up for those who need it. The Provincial Health management would look like a really community-minded and forward-thinking group, rather than like penny-pinching and short-sighted thoughtless bureaucrats. Please, let’s have more thought, more sense of community needs, and less “management!”

Helen McFadden, Surrey

I am very upset that you are planning to do this and it would appear that you have been misinformed about certain facts

concerning the closure.

You cited “there are more services at Peace Arch Hospital such as ECG tests.” In fact, there was ECG equipment at Ocean Park but Fraser Health in it’s “wisdom” removed it!

You also said “Employees of the Ocean Park facility will be transferred to the PAH lab,” so where are the savings? Certainly not in salaries since you have stated nobody will lose their job, certainly not in rent since the people who will be transferred will require space to work in what is already an overcrowded facility. So at the end of the day, what will you have accomplished other than create an additional financial burden for residents of Ocean Park who use the lab, frustration towards Fraser Health plus inconvenience and/or an obstacle for those seeking services provided by the lab.

I am not sure whether this is a case of naivety or a case of trying to justify an irrational bureaucratic decision fuelled by misinformation.

Regardless, I think that you should revisit the facts you used to base this decision on and then consult with the residents of Ocean Park before this decision becomes irrevocable.

Ken Harrap, Surrey

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