Friday, 18 August 2017 11:53

Goldstream Gazette article

Families on the West Shore and throughout the Capital Region are truly blessed to have the first-class care the Victoria General Hospital provides for babies who enter the world under a cloud of difficult circumstances.

The recent reunion for parents of children who received life-saving treatment in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit underlines the difference it makes in promoting happy endings for births beset by problems and medical complications. Of the between 2,500 to 3,500 children born in Greater Victoria in an average year, the 450 to 550 who require specialized care - a startlingly significant figure - benefit from the efforts of dedicated doctors and nurses able to utilize the array of state of the art equipment at VGH.

It is sobering to think of how many of those children would not go on to lead happy, healthy lives without the assistance they received.

The increasingly costly reality is that hospitals have to deal with expense of replacing aging equipment, providing specialized training and purchasing the latest innovations to ensure these babies have the best chance at the best possible outcome. A BiliBlanket for newborns dealing with jaundice can cost up to $8,000, a specialized stretcher for the emergency ward weighs in at $11,000, and a treadmill for the neurological rehabilitation department can run up to $7,000. And those figures pale in comparison to the price of incubators and other advancements in technology that can make the difference between life and death.  [Site Administrator note:  The Auxiliary has already bought 2 Biliblankets and will buy 3 more this year.]

While the provincial government is saddled with keeping up with demands that take a huge chunk out of the budget, the fact is there's just no way expenditures can keep pace with all of the needs of a growing population.

So it is left to organizations such as the Victoria Hospitals Foundation to fill the void. Other funding sources include donations by corporations and individuals, some of whom have benefited from the care they or a family member received. Hospital auxiliaries also play a prominent role in organizing events to raise money in a myriad of ways.

You only have to spend an hour at a Victoria General Hospital's auxiliary meeting to get a sense of the thought, dedication and effort these volunteers bring to their work. We should all be thankful for the quality of care our hospitals provide, and those who work to make it so.

EDITORIAL: Volunteers and donations key elements of health care system Goldstream News Gazette Tuesday, August 15, 2017