City urged to keep up push for new Mills hospital

Directors of the REM Lee Hospital Foundation in Terrace, B.C. declare that northerners have paid their dues for health projects.

Concept drawing of a new Mills Memorial Hospital on current hospital grounds.

An open letter to:

Mayor Carol Leclerc and Council, City of  Terrace

 

Dear Mayor and Council:

As longtime volunteers and honorary directors of the Dr. R.E.M Lee Hospital Foundation in Terrace, B.C., we are appalled at the lack of empathy shown to the citizens in the north in regards to health care.

We have been residents for decades, raised our families who have in turn raised their own families and we have been through and watched the ups and downs of the area.

We are not ‘cap in hand’ people. We are doers. Supporting health care for the betterment of others in our area has been our own personal mandate.

Our foundation evolved from remarks made by the late Dr. R.E.M. Lee at a retirement departure dinner held in his honour in 1987.

Dr. Lee advised that it was his dream to have a medical referral centre in the Pacific Northwest situated in Terrace and stated the need for a CT scanner, as there could be no modern medicine without one.

From that event, a group of five businessmen founded a solely volunteer organization that was incorporated under the Societies Act in 1988. It became known as The Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation.

The foundation has been instrumental in coordinating and raising funds for such pieces of equipment as a CT scanner (twice!),  opthalmology, which has now become a regional service, a colonoscopy suite and even an instrument sterilizer for the operating room.

The current project is the replacement of urology equipment. Money for this should have been placed in a contingency fund as it was well known that when retirement was imminent for the urology specialist, new more modern equipment would have to be obtained in order to encourage a new specialist to our area.

But like everything else along the way, there’s no contingency fund, so the foundation was asked to raise $100,000 towards new instruments.

We have been very fortunate that we have an excellent reputation as “doers”. This organization has been fully supported over the years by private taxpayers, businesses,  corporations and community organizations.

Our present hospital was opened in 1961.

It has served its purpose very well over the years, but like older buildings and technologies, it has had its day.

Mills Memorial Hospital is the hub hospital for the catchment area covering Burns Lake to Haida Gwaii and from Kitimat north to the Yukon border.

We need a facility that is set up for the present day medical services and patient care.

We deserve a new facility.

Four years ago in 2012, when it became apparent that a replacement should be more seriously looked at, a committee was set up to go about seeking future plans for the hospital.

Information has been gathered for the past four years and we are shocked at health minister Terry Lake’s announcement that he was not in favour of conducting a business case study, even though the Northern Health Authority and the North West Regional Hospital District are willing to pay for one.

Since 1988 we have raised more than $3.5 million toward upgrading and enhancement of medical services in Terrace.

It is our time – northerners have paid our dues several times over.

Please speak for us, let your counterparts know that health care is part of the infrastructure of the Canadian fabric, that we are part of a universal health care system in Canada.

We and those who reside, visit and travel through our area deserve to have decent health care. Anything less is compromising the quality of life for all.

William McRae, Helene McRae, Eileen Kennedy,

Honorary directors,

The Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation,

Terrace, B.C.

Just Posted

B.C. Book Prize’s northwest tour stops in Terrace

The two authors spoke to students at Caledonia Secondary School and Thornhill Elementary on Thursday

Mismanaged salmon farms unacceptable: Cullen

Commissioner suggests Ottawa favouring aquaculture over wild salmon management

B.C. hires 20 more conservation officers

The province announces 12 new locations for conservation officer services this year

Fire department reminds public to not burn yard waste

Terrace department has responded to eight burn complaints during the first three months of 2018

Approximately 133 calls for service April 16 to 19

The Terrace RCMP responded to approximately 133 calls for service from Monday… Continue reading

Terrace fire department boosts its abilities with new training regimen

Firefighters get a taste of emergency evac on demolition property

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

Most Read