Letter to the editor

Saturday, May 25, and my thoughts turn to the ambulatory clinic in Cranbrook where East Kootenay residents are queuing today for eye treatment. It is likely that many folks in our valley do not know of this monthly clinic provided by BC health. It exists to treat people with wet macular degeneration and other eye troubles.

For your information, Cranbrook is one of four regional hospitals which host two Vancouver eye surgeons monthly who fly in for a clinic. Over a single weekend these doctors take care of a steady stream of patients in need of specialized treatment. Accessing the clinic from out of town is inconvenient but better than going blind.

Treatment is provided free of charge by BC health but transportation is not. This is left entirely to the needy to work out for themselves. Obviously this is easy and no problem for those with a partner or family members nearby. Travel is not easy for those of us who have neither and must call on friends to sacrifice a day to take them to the clinic.

The reason for this letter is to ask, is it possible that some service club or organization might arrange this monthly trip for several passengers in one vehicle? The medi-bus is good for mid-week travel to Cranbrook but that does not help weekend eye clinic patients.

Life is good in the Columbia Valley but accessing specialized health care is not.

Eileen Fiell, Invermere