Letter to the Editor

No confidence in Fentie and Cathers Here we go again — more consultations. Premier Dennis Fentie and Health Minister Brad Cathers have to…

No confidence in Fentie and Cathers

Here we go again — more consultations.

Premier Dennis Fentie and Health Minister Brad Cathers have to make it look like everything is A-OK and they are on top of things.

If they didn’t keep telling us what a good job they’re doing, we wouldn’t know.

As a former ambulance patient (who hopes not to need the service again too soon) I am grateful for the dedication of our volunteers. Most of them aren’t in it for the money.

Is it really going to kill our government to make it so our ambulance attendants are paid for their time? If they were, there might be more of them.

Burning out is a very real concern in the medical profession.

Maybe a non-confidence motion is in order.

Dale Worsfold

Watson Lake

Dentist responds

I would like to take this opportunity to correct several errors reported in Friday’s article regarding dentistry for inmates at the correctional centre.

After reading the article in last week’s paper regarding the lack of services for inmates in pain, it was I who contacted Whitehorse Correctional Centre.

I am unaware of any “lengthy search” as quoted in the article. Never before have I been approached or heard of the dire situation of inmates in terms of their dental care.

My private practice is extremely busy with patients having to wait months for an appointment, so I am unable to take on any new commitments and sign a long-term contract.

Knowing that these inmates were in pain, though, I offered to open our practice for one day on a weekend in order to relieve those patients in serious pain. I never stated a contract of a week, I only ever said I would sacrifice ONE of my days off to help in this emergency situation.

I find the errors in the article portray me in a negative light and such reporting will make me hesitate to ever sacrifice my free time again to make a difference.

Dr. Jonathan Keigan

Whitehorse

Fentie and Cathers fail Yukoners

The recent meeting in Watson Lake regarding the Ambulance attendants’ action to suspend service to the area was quite revealing.

It was pointed out that this issue has been ongoing for more than two years.

All rural Yukon communities are expected to run this vital service on a volunteer basis. These hard-working and dedicated people are criticized for not having the proper “volunteer spirit.”

How ridiculous of the Yukon government to expect people to volunteer day and night on an on-call basis without remuneration of any kind.

I discovered that Yukon communities live with a two?tier health service, which pays some bills and not others.

Health care in the North has its own challenges, and you would think the Yukon government would give this more than lip service.

Watson Lake MLA Dennis Fentie showed his noncommitment to the community by not attending the meeting. He didn’t even send a representative.

Health Minister Brad Cathers did not think it important enough to attend either.

Yet this government thought it important enough to “protect” the youth at the Canada Winter games by spending thousands of dollars on condoms.

The ambulance service in Watson Lake might not be important to the people in the Yukon government, but it sure is vital to our community.

We need action now to resolve this issue before someone has to die. How would you feel if it were a member of your family due to the inaction of your government?

This is not a Watson Lake or Dawson City issue. It is a Yukon territory issue.

Isabel Welsh

Watson Lake

 Double standards

It was both unfortunate and disheartening to witness so little community involvement in the search for Angel Carlick this past Saturday.

I believe most of the other volunteers were equally as puzzled and dismayed.

Approximately 40 people showed up to help from a city of 20,000. Shameless!

I wonder deeply if the turnout would have been as dismal had it been a child missing from a well-known or well-to-do family.

Where was the First Nation Community? Besides the immediate family and a handful of others, there was little representation.

My hat goes off to the elder who showed up in her wheelchair. Where were all you bush-savvy people?

Where were all you concerned parents?

No doubt watching baseball or your own children play while sipping on a French vanilla.

The RCMP might as well have sent a cardboard placard of an officer as their representative.

The officer present was not even able to answer what ground was covered in the RCMP’s previous search.

Her response to every question asked was either, “I don’t know” or “It was not my file.”

Logistically speaking it would have benefited the small group of volunteers to know just what areas were searched in order to walk as much ground as possible, don’t you think?

It’s pretty damn ironic. Some local musician gets an illness and 300 groupies show up for a benefit.

I sincerely hope that no other parent has to go through what this family has endured during its ordeal combined with the complete and utter lack of support from their fellow man.

Kevin Sinclair

Marsh Lake

Hospital staff overworked

After reading in the paper and listening to the news about all that ails the Whitehorse General Hospital, we were able to experience firsthand some of what is happening as we welcomed the arrival of our son June 26.

The nursing staff at the hospital was exceptional.

All the nurses we had contact with were professional, caring and knowledgeable. Dr. Williams and Dr. MacNicol, whom we had for the delivery of our son, were also wonderful in all aspects.

Despite the great experience of having a baby at such a fine facility, the fact that there are problems within the hospital did not go unnoticed by us.

The maternity ward was very busy; our baby was the 90th baby born this year, and more were arriving every day.

With two nurses per shift, and sometimes only one I understand, the nurses did their best but simply could not keep up.

Little things were affected, such as laundry. On day three of our stay, the ward ran out of receiving blankets.

Our bath demonstration, normally given the day after the birth, was postponed until day three.

The drinking water in the room was seldom refilled, unless by us.

Bathroom supplies were restocked on request, instead of automatically.

Medication times were frequently missed or delayed. Often it would be a few hours or more before anyone came to the room to check on us.

We are writing not to complain about the hospital staff, but to bring attention to the situation, as it is quite clear that despite the fine medical staff, there is a need not only for our government to recognize that more staff is required now, but that every effort must be made to retain the current medical staff as well, in order for our hospital to continue to provide the care it is known for and capable of.

Health care in Yukon is something that should not be compromised. Yukoners need to be reassured that the care provided in this territory is the best that it can be, and despite the best efforts of the hospital staff, without our government stepping forward to provide the support and resources necessary, the current quality of care cannot be sustained for long.

Kim Thompson, David Borud

Whitehorse

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