Letters to the Editor

Dr. Lawe in conflict

Re: Dr. Andrew Lawe’s comments trashing the Dix plan for restoring services to Kootenay Lake Hospital

His is an intrinsic conflict of interest situation with respect to keeping up the volume at the hospital in Trail. There are other models that would work, whether they be a central site in Castlegar as previously agreed to, and/or in the meanwhile a surgical rotation for call coverage between Nelson and Trail as well as beefed up emergency holding ICU capacity in Nelson.

What is missing in the conversation is the voice of the Nelson Health Task Force, a well informed patient advocacy group that can speak to the “golden hour,” which is a well recognized standard regarding how much time we have to provide definitive care in critical situations. This requires surgical and ICU-like capability within an hour.

Given the transfer realities from someone’s home, worksite, or the highway, having only one critical care centre in the southwest corner of the region may make budgetary sense but not in terms of our safety, according to current standards of medical care. Our situation was in fact specifically presented in an academic paper to this effect by Dr. Richard Fleet, who left Nelson for a career as a professor at Laval university.

Dr. Lawe’s position also makes for a convenient call rota for the physicians located there but not for patients in this widespread region and at the largest and most rapidly growing population centre, i.e. Nelson.

Disclosure: I have no conflict of interest and am not in any way involved in critical care provision at Kootenay Lake Hospital. However I do have family and friends that I care about deeply, living here.

Andre Piver MD, Nelson


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