< B>Dear sir:
With the end of the century, changes are impacting everything in our country, no matter which political party is in power, and there will always be a group or groups griping about what was in the past.
The forces driving change are bigger than political ideology, they reach everywhere and effect everything. They also signal opportunity.
Our local hospital is a good example. Originally, hospitals were charitable institutions with little provincial government support. In the ’60s, changing demographics and technology demanded that local services deliver change. The economy was booming and new needs were easily financed. Funding switched from charity to tax-supported public service.
Now at the present time, demographics and technology demands change, forcing government to mergers and redefining the role of hospitals.
Unfortunately, our local hospital board has been mired in the renovation and renewing of our facility rather than taking an active role in realignment of nurses and staff with the chief administrator.
As a result, a real opportunity may have been missed.
During the 1970s, it was popular to think of hospitals as health care providers. They weren’t, and shouldn’t be. This muddled the mission of hospitals and the focus on what purpose the hospital role was.
Suppose the hospital defined itself as a healing centre for people who are sick or injured. Focus on healing would make a major difference in service and how it is delivered.
Here are some questions to answer:
oWhat if the board shifted its focus from building to contribution to healing?
oWhat if the board gave as much attention to its human resources as to the building issue?
oWould all the staff, including nurses, be genuinely involved?
oWould the focus of healing involve patients more in doing everything possible to get well, with more responsibility on the individuals?
oWould the high cost of treatment for self-inflicted illnesses from tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs be tolerated as it is now?
Massive changes are happening in hospital services everywhere. What if we could come up with a better way to provide healing to the sick and injured?
There is an old saying about the world beating down doors for builders of a better mousetrap, which applies to hospitals as well. Whether the structure is new or renovated matters little, unless the design is guided by focus on healing and recognizing the new technology changes.
By the time all renovations will be completed, it will be obsolete and will be like any other new hospital—instead of a destination that people go to for a better way of healing.
< B>Respectively submitted,
< B>Bruce Holmlund