More than a shiny new CT

The arrival of the new CT scanner to Kootenay Lake Hospital last week was much more than a new medical toy being wheeled into the emergency room upgrade construction zone. It was a symbol of a long health care crusade and a new era of hope in the face of continued challenges.

The arrival of the new CT scanner to Kootenay Lake Hospital last week was much more than a new medical toy being wheeled into the emergency room upgrade construction zone. It was a symbol of a long health care crusade and a new era of hope in the face of continued challenges.

The lobby to bring a CT scanner to the local hospital is at least two decades old. When the campaign to get the tool to Nelson began, it was still leading-edge technology. Today it’s considered part of the basics for medical professionals in diagnosis and prevention.

Plenty has changed at the local hospital over the last 20 years. When the provincial Liberals came to power in 2001 and shook up health care, the local hospital slid back in its ability to deliver services. With the arrival of the CT scanner and the November opening of the new emergency department, it has jumped a few steps forward.

There have been many battles to improve health care in this community and there have been many losses along the way. Without question, the $15 million redevelopment is a major victory.

Credit must be given to all those involved in making this project a reality.

The provincial government finally came forward with an $8.3 million investment in local health care. Easy to vilify, the Liberals deserve to score a few points on this one.

Regional and local politicians managed to work together and buck up $5.5 million from the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District. That kind of partnership and work towards a common goal isn’t always easy.

The Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation and all the people of the Nelson area who contributed to the $1.5 million for the CT showed we are committed to a better health care future.

Health care advocates who kept the pressure on for all these years, making the Nelson area hard to ignore, share some of the kudos.

The CT scanner and upgrades are not a health care magic wand, but it’s hard to argue the local situation has not improved. Rural health care will always be a challenge, but we should enjoy this moment of triumph.