Posted on 22 August 2012 by admin
The Osoyoos Times had an editorial in their August 15 issue supporting the concept of becoming more vocal about the “rebuilding” of the Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH).
In this house we have three people who have experienced the service at Penticton Regional and various other hospitals in the Okanagan Valley.
Obviously, Penticton Regional Hospital is the most wanting of the lot.
At Penticton Regional there is much to be improved. Recently, my mother had the need of help because of internal bleeding. She spent nine days in the emergency room, waiting for the source of the bleeding to be found. There were no rooms available upstairs. The ER has no privacy, no quiet time and other patients moaning, groaning and yelling for relief.
Finally, she was moved upstairs to a room on the children’s ward. Only one other patient at a time shared the room with her. There the environment seemed to be better. The staff were very caring and attentive to her needs.
Last year I had similar experiences. Once, I needed a catheter to contain the bile draining from my stomach. There were 13 other ER patients in the room and one nurse. The majority of the patients were waiting for a room upstairs.
One of the other patients went into cardiac arrest and no help could be found. The nurse dealt with the crisis to the best of her abilities. Meanwhile, the bile continued to fill my bag. Finally it overflowed onto the floor. I remember the image of an orange tide creeping to fill the areas under the other beds and there was no help for the nurse to clean up. The nurse had to walk in the mess and the other patients were exposed to my mess.
My contention is that had there been an adequate number of rooms upstairs, this situation would not have occurred.
On another occasion, I was sent by ambulance to Penticton General. There was no room for any more patients.
This resulted in the ambulance being told to return to Oliver. There too, the ward was full, and I spent the night in the ER. Later the next afternoon I was admitted into the South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver.
A hospital should be a place where a patient is set on the path to successful recovery. To do that the patient needs to receive food that is nutritious, attractive to look at and fresh. Oliver’s food comes close to the model. The cooked food comes from an on-site kitchen.
The food at Penticton General is none of that. In most cases the main meal consisted of a starchy blob upon which a sludge of colour was poured. There were no fresh vegetables or fruit. That which was provided came from a cheap label can.
It was high in sugar and/or fat content.
Protein seemed to be an unheard of item. The rumour mill claimed that the food was prepared in Kamloops and was flash frozen and delivered to the patient several months later.
Kelowna has a better system. Most of the food is prepared fresh on site.
There are many more problems at Penticton General caused by lack of proper updates benefitting the patients
The facility should encourage the healing process. A good cafeteria benefitting the patients, staff and the public is long overdue.
The time has arrived to replace Penticton General so that a new hospital will be able to meet the needs of the people in the area.
It is time to fill the promises of the past and rebuild.