Letter: Axing eye surgeries in Richmond is wrong

Dear Editor,

Re: “Short sighted,” Feature, Nov. 22.

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It was with dismay that I read the article in the Richmond News letting us know about the Vancouver Coastal Health decision to have all eye surgeries done at Mount St. Joseph Hospital in East Vancouver rather than at Richmond Hospital.  This will result in tremendous problems for those, primarily seniors, with vision problems which require surgery.

I know from first-hand experience — a lot of us do not have anyone to take us to hospital. A taxi within Richmond is not nearly as costly as one to and from East Vancouver.  Not doable on government pensions which are diminished with ever-rising costs.

As well, we wonder how long our three much needed and appreciated opthamologists will remain in Richmond, where they, all of a sudden and with little notice, have no access to the hospital. As a senior who, for many years, has paid taxes in Richmond, taxes which helped build and maintain hospitals, I feel very strongly that VCH should not make this devastating change.  If there is a problem having enough surgery time here, then a good and fair solution would be to shift the “anchor baby” 500 births per year elsewhere, leaving an essential service in Richmond for those who’ve paid for it.  

My question for VCH is simple: what is the fair, ethical thing to do, help those who have not contributed to our community give birth, get citizenship, then take off, or continue to provide a service to people who have supported the community through taxes, etc. in an effort to prevent them from going blind?

H. Richards



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