Editorial: We haven’t done a great job of planning ahead

Going forward, our governments need to do a better job of taking inventory of the public facilities

The Cowichan Valley should consider itself very lucky to be getting a new hospital in 2024.

It’s not that the community doesn’t need it, because it certainly does. But it’s clear from recent statistics that there are many other communities in British Columbia that are also in need of expanded hospital facilities.

Nearly 50 hospitals in the province are running above 100 per cent capacity, with Cowichan District Hospital falling 24th on that list this year. The province as a whole is running at 103.2 per cent occupancy.

Cowichan needs a new hospital not just because of the capacity issues. The structure itself is just old, which comes with problems. Bits of the facade have actually fallen off. And the numbers this year are a little better than in previous years which hit as high at 112 per cent above capacity.

But the most overwhelmed hospitals in the province are in the Fraser Valley and Northern B.C.

Stuart Lake Hospital in Fort St. James operated at 135.3 per cent capacity in 2018/19. This is the result of a lack of investment in new facilities for our communities over decades, as the population grew at the same time. Indeed, this has happened across Canada to many different types of infrastructure, and now the results are starting to show.

What this means is that we are going to have to invest in a lot of new infrastructure in the coming years, from schools to roads, to hospitals, to bridges, tunnels and more.

This work is being done in a piecemeal fashion by various levels of government from municipal to federal, and much of it probably should have been planned and started years before it becomes critical situation after critical situation.

Going forward, our governments need to do a better job of taking inventory of the public facilities we have, figuring out their probable lifespans, and preparing (putting away money) for their inevitable replacements, and/0r major renovations — then scheduling what will be done when.

Just Posted

Untrending: Maybe it’s time to define success on your own terms

Take a closer look at how to set and achieve your goals

Morris Moss: ‘One of the most colourful figures this coast has ever seen’

So one historian termed the handsome Jewish pioneer whose life was more exciting than fiction

VicPD confirms wolf sighting in James Bay

Police ask that children and pets be taken inside

Victoria hotel awards couples for baby-making with Valentine’s freebie

Have a baby nine months after your stay and enjoy 18-year Valentines deal

Vancouver Island woman’s research helps volunteer firefighters cope with stress

VIU professor Leigh Blaney developing tools to help emergency responders become resilient

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Most Read