From: Anonymous

I started with mild back pain in 2021. The pain slowly increased and in early 2023 I had an x-ray and MRI which showed that I had Severe Spinal Stenosis. I was told to go to physio, which I did. In Feb 2024 the pain became excruciating and debilitating. I am now taking multiple medications. I had another MRI this past week which showed that I have Advanced Spinal Stenosis. I have been offered an Epidural Injection at the end of this month in Nanaimo, which scares me. I am on a waiting list to see a neurosurgeon but have been told it may be a year or so before I will be able to do so. I live in Courtenay and the neurosurgeon is in Victoria, a 3-hour trip one way. Should I find the funds to make a trip to the US for surgery, or suffer with terrible pain for who knows how long?

Cheryl Prince

My almost 90-year-old father who has multiple health issues was discharged from the hospital after my request to keep him there until his symptoms cleared up. They did not follow my request and he was sent home, quickly going into an electrolyte imbalance in the coming days. Not being able to access any of his medical records, nor get help from the floor he was JUST discharged from after a three week stay due to a broken hip. We had to again phone an ambulance and have him taken back after less than ten days or fear he was going to die from dehydration/exhaustion. We were not involved with his discharge, and feel that they have caused his health to further decline instead of thrive.

Kim S.

Last May I woke up at 2 am one early sweating profusely, extreme shallowness of breath, radiating pain on my left side. An ambulance ride led to a 15 hour wait in emergency  and hallways after diagnosis of a myocardial infarction. It was a Friday and, although my doctor thought it best to get me to Victoria, there was no ‘space available’ for inbound patients. I was sent home from NRGH three days later as space at RJH was still not available. I was summoned to Royal Jubilee in mid-August requiring a three-day trip, which had to be repeated in November to unexpectedly finish the job, at which time a third treatment was deemed necessary and scheduled for January. I was told that if I resided in Victoria, the treatments would have happened much more quickly restoring my health in weeks, rather than over 7-8 months requiring three expensive, stressful trips.

From: Anonymous

I had a seizure – emergency services in the hospital were excellent. But now the delays started, waiting two weeks to get the results from my family doctor. Having to book follow up scans two months in advance. If there was another option, using private insurance to supplement the public system would remove people from the public waiting lists, open up new surgical capacity at no cost to the taxpayer. Better pay would entice re entry into the system of nurses and doctors. The delays are costing lives and must be reduced.

Constance Kuramoto

I have been without a regular family doctor for over 15 years. I am 72, and lucky I have been healthy but I also wonder how long this will last without having a family doctor to talk to. My ex husband had a heart attack in August, and also has been without a family doctor for at least that long, making ongoing care of his condition difficult. I am so tired of this. What happened to Canadian Health Care?

From: Anonymous

Recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. For radiation treatment I must go to the Cancer Clinic, in Victoria, five days a week for four weeks. There is a three month wait to start treatment .Apart from being inconvenient this adds to the stress level. Providing radiation treatment mid island would reduce the demand on the Victoria location, perhaps reducing wait times for all involved.

Duck Paterson

When my wife Tracy had a heart attack, doctors at NRGH told us that Tracy was going to have to go to Victoria, as Nanaimo does not have the facilities to deal with heart attacks, but they were waiting to hear back from the Victoria hospital as to when they can take her. After being told, by Victoria, ‘we’ll get back to you’, four or five times, they put my wife and an accompanying nurse in an ambulance and off to Victoria they went. The medical staff, associated with NRGH, are the best, but the lack of proper facilities to treat folks in life threatening situations is becoming drastic for the people of upper Vancouver Island.

From: Anonymous

It took 9 months for me to see a orthopaedic surgeon where I learned I would be on his wait list for 2 years or I could be moved to one of his colleagues where it might be a year. X-rays showed extreme osteoporosis degeneration. I went to the US.

From: Anonymous

I went to the urgent care clinic for the first time as I have a mildly infected toe, took 45 minutes to see. A doctor, they apologized profusely for the wait and set a good 15 minutes cleaning my foot, took their time, popped me in for an X-ray on the spot, gave me some antibiotics and detailed instructions and I was on my way. New Zealand. Blew my mind. How is vancouver island’s access to doctor so so so so so so so bad.