Docs call for eye care at expanded Kelowna hospital

With the recent opening of the Kelowna General Hospital extension, it seems quite extraordinary that a retinal service is not offered.

To the editor:

With the recent opening of our new multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art, tertiary care, UBC-affiliated teaching Kelowna General Hospital, it seems quite extraordinary that a retinal service is not offered to the residents of this community.

The general public’s concern and bewilderment at the lack of such a service has been well documented in recent letters to the editor and we do not feel it is necessary to repeat the cogent and compelling arguments already listed by these individuals.

As local physicians we feel it is important to show our strongest support for the early establishment of a retinal program in Kelowna. We feel that whatever the reasons given by IHA there is simply no real justification to withhold such a service.The only explanation offered seems to be one of finances—too much money required for too few patients.

Could IHA confirm how many patients in the South Okanagan do, in fact, require specialist retinal care and how many are actually transferred to Vancouver rather than to Kamloops.

Comments by senior medical director Dr M. Murray in local media seem to confirm that IHA’s major concern is that the cost/benefit ratio is unfavourable. (That means financial cost exceeds patient benefit.) That may be so from a bureaucrat’s perspective, but perhaps he would feel differently if he or a loved one had a detached retina that could only be dealt with by travel to either Kamloops or Vancouver.

KGH will have a retinal program eventually. We feel it must be sooner rather than later. We are certain that with the political will, the obstacles preventing a retinal service in Kelowna could be overcome.

As family physicians whose first priority is our patients’ welfare, we urge IHA to prioritize the establishment of a retinal program in Kelowna.

 

Andrew Farquhar MD

Mike Banwell MD

Jan Fisher MD

Martin Jackson MD

Alan Hignell MD

William Mackle MD

Mike Koss MD

James Ketch MD

Just Posted

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

Rutland rallies behind Chiefs impressive season

The Kelowna Chiefs will finish atop the KIJHL, and conclude season this weekend in Rutland

City of Kelowna raises concerns over safety, policing with COG organizers

The mayor said it was a mutual decision between organizers and the city to postpone the festival

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Kelowna Rockets make stop at B.C. Parliament building

The hockey team snapped a picture while in Victoria Tuesday

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Crash closes highway between Vernon and Lumby

Traffic being routed around the scene

Level nightclub will be closing

Vehicle located in 2018 Shuswap abduction attempt

Chase RCMP say car used has since been sold, suspect still at large

Cougar ‘living’ next door to Okanagan elementary school

Conservation Office has been alerted and monitoring large cat

Dog dies in Kamloops RV fire

According to a fundraiser posted on social media, the cause of the fire was electrical

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

Most Read