Lock­ing Bow Is­land Health Cen­tre doors at 5 p.m. a ‘fool­ish de­ci­sion’

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Opinion -

EDITOR:

I have been hear­ing about the lock­ing of the doors at the Bow Is­land Health Cen­tre for some time now. As a physi­cian who had prac­tised in Bow Is­land for more than 30 years, I was a lit­tle sur­prised at the de­ci­sion as it seemed to­tally counter in­tu­itive to any com­mon sense.

As I have talked to staff who work there, and get­ting the an­swer from those in au­thor­ity that it was a safety is­sue, I felt it was time to raise my voice in protest to a fool­ish ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sion, on mul­ti­ple lev­els.

1. What emer­gency depart­ment or hospi­tal locks its doors at 5 p.m., of­ten just be­fore the busiest time of the day? Evenings are of­ten when emer­gen­cies come in, and this de­fies logic. Hav­ing a locked door will only in­crease the anx­i­ety of those with a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

2. With doors locked, staff who are on a much higher pay scale, must stop what they are do­ing and go un­lock the doors, then try to re­sume the task that was stopped. This seems more than a lit­tle un­safe, as well as fi­nan­cially fool­ish. By the way, this means staff must stop work and open the door to any vis­i­tors as well as for any emer­gency pa­tients.

3. Why would ad­min­is­tra­tion give the ex­cuse that this is a safety is­sue, when it is an ad­min­is­tra­tive is­sue? Is lock­ing an emer­gency door safe? When the new emer­gency wing was built, the re­gional au­thor­i­ties ac­knowl­edged that this would mean the need for ex­tra staffing. Are these prom­ises no longer valid?

4. In a time where all worry about the hospi­tal and keeping it open, is it an in­tel­li­gent de­ci­sion to start­ing clos­ing the ac­cess to the fa­cil­ity? Why take a step in the wrong di­rec­tion? The bot­tom line is that this was a fool­ish de­ci­sion, and there are other op­tions. Ad­min­is­tra­tion, both lo­cal and re­gional, should ad­mit the mis­take and cor­rect the prob­lem. If they per­sist in this de­ci­sion, then it is time to turn up some po­lit­i­cal heat. It is time to lis­ten to the hospi­tal staff and the com­mu­nity.

DR. LYNN ED­WARDS

BOW IS­LAND, ALTA.

(The writer is a retired fam­ily physi­cian.)

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