Women and children were left behind
As department heads of Family Practice and Obstetrics at Penticton Regional Hospital, we have felt many emotions while navigating the COVID pandemic — fear, hope, frustration, sadness, but today we are feeling completely disillusioned.
We are disillusioned that the team that planned and executed the beautiful David Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital did not include women and children in their planning.
They did not include a labour and delivery ward, post partum ward, gynecology ward or pediatric ward in their plans. Though they gave the impression that renovating these wards would happen in the next phase, we were informed today that this is not the case and in fact may not happen for many years, if at all.
While we round on other patients in brand new, large, single-patient rooms with private bathrooms and showers, overlooking the beautiful Penticton mountains and lakes, our women and children sit in rooms that have not been changed since the 1950s — barely big enough for the patient bed let alone a support person and bassinet, windows so small there is hardly any natural light, no private shower and with asbestos in the walls.
The rooms both in labour and delivery and the women’s and children’s ward are so small that they have created safety concerns for both patients and staff as they try to navigate within the constraints of the rooms.
If you have a C-section or other surgery, you will get a glimpse of the beauty of our new, state of the art, large operating rooms only to be plunged into the darkness of the women’s and children’s ward for your recovery.
A decision was made at some point in the planning to make an idyllic new patient care tower, but quietly leave women and children behind.
We are saying loudly that this is unacceptable. Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life and we have amazing staff that want to make that experience everything you want it to be.
If you have stayed with us and have comments about the accommodations, please reach out to the Interior Health Patient Care Quality Office with your experience:
By phone: 1-877-442-2001
By email: interiorhealth.ca/YourCare/ PatientCareQualityOffice/Pages/PCQOForm.aspx
By mail: Patient Care Quality Office; 5th Floor; 505 Doyle Ave; Kelowna, V1Y OC5
Dr. Jennifer Begin
Dr. Julie Ryckman