MLA wants better care for patients discharged far from home

  • Mar. 19, 2007 11:00 a.m.

By Alex Rinfret-MLA Gary Coons has raised the case of Queen Charlotte resident David Yasko in the Legislature, demanding to know why the government isn’t making sure discharged patients can get home safely.
Mr. Yasko was medivacced to hospital in Kitimat last month. He was discharged with no money and no coat, and only made his way back to the islands thanks to the kindness of friends who live in Terrace.
Mr. Coons brought his case up in the Legislature on March 14.
He didn’t have time to ask the other questions he had prepared on the topic, but he told the Observer that this same situation happens to dozens of patients across the north, who often have to seek medical treatment far from home. And he said the Northern Health bus service, set up last year with great fanfare, simply isn’t working for people living on Haida Gwaii.
“If you’re medivacced to Vancouver and discharged, you get an 11 and a half hour bus to Prince George, stay overnight, get an 11-hour bus to Prince Rupert, stay two to three days, then get the eight-hour ferry to Skidegate, all after being discharged from the hospital after a trauma,” Mr. Coons said. “My question is to the minister: Is this timely health care, when and where you need it, and why does this government continue to neglect rural patients and put their lives at risk?”