Lock­ing doors at BIHC makes no sense

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Opinion -

Ed­i­tor:

One more em­ployee at Bow Is­land Health Cen­tre could save lives, a small price to pay for safety

The re­cent de­ci­sion to lock Bow Is­land Health Cen­tre doors at 5 p.m. makes ab­so­lutely no sense. While the safety of the staff is a fac­tor, I be­lieve the de­ci­sion has more to do with sav­ing money by get­ting rid of an im­por­tant em­ployee than it does safety con­cerns.

Bow Is­land and dis­trict have worked long and hard to at­tract qual­ity doc­tors and was suc­cess­ful in adding three new doc­tors along with a good doc­tor al­ready on staff. Un­til now, the busy hospi­tal has run ef­fi­ciently with lots of ac­tive com­mu­nity sup­port. Lock­ing the doors at 5 p.m. en­dan­gers emer­gency pa­tients and in­con­ve­niences vis­i­tors. When nurses are busy else­where in the hospi­tal they can­not an­swer the tele­phone or run to open the door in an emer­gency si­t­u­a­tion.

When a vic­tim finds the door locked, panic could set in and he or she may be un­able to read the in­struc­tions. A staff mem­ber may not even know any­one is there.

For the safety of all con­cerned, the so­lu­tion could be to re-hire the ad­mit­ting clerk who sits in the desk po­si­tion with a clear view of the doors un­til 9 p.m. un­til other staff is less busy. The clerk’s job is to an­swer the phone, open the door for vis­i­tors, call the doc­tor and emer­gency nurse if needed and have the help in place quickly. This clerk helps with fil­ing or book­work not com­pleted dur­ing the reg­u­lar hours. This clerk also mon­i­tors the emer­gency ra­dio and alerts the nurses and doc­tors that an am­bu­lance is on the way.

The cost of this one em­ployee could save lives, a small price to pay for safety. I some­times think the aim of Al­berta Health is to close down all small hos­pi­tals so they can over­load the city hos­pi­tals in the name of cen­tral­iza­tion.

Bow Is­land has served a large ru­ral pop­u­la­tion ef­fi­ciently and well. It would be crim­i­nal to ruin a good health cen­tre in or­der to save a lit­tle money.

Ella Nel­son, Bur­dett, AB.

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