Dear Editor:

This letter is written in support of keeping, and perhaps increasing, the existing dialysis services in Invermere. I live in Saskatchewan and have kidney disease. Thus I require dialysis three times a week; some people require four times a week.

I have friends in Invermere and area, whom I very much wished to visit this winter and take in the attractions of this beautiful valley. However, I debated a great deal on whether to come because of the lack of dialysis in Invermere.

The closest treatment centre is in Cranbrook, 138 kilometres away. This takes up basically a full day: three hours of driving and four to five hours at the hospital. Thats inconvenient, to say the least.

Many tourists and visitors come to Invermere; I am one of these. More would almost certainly come if there were dialysis facilities at hand. I understand that several families have already moved out of Invermere because of its lack of this service and thus the need to drive to Cranbrook. This is truly unfortunate. Also, with tourism increasingly becoming a part of Invermeres economy, the availability of dialysis would ensure these people visiting and living in the valley can stay in the valley. The fact that Invermere already has the basic equipment and space for dialysis is a strong plus for reopening.

I would very much like to return to this area, especially in winter. However, I have reservations because of the inconvenience of travelling a long distance for dialysis. There is an obvious need for this service, both now and in the foreseeable future. I would like to add my voice to those advocating the reopening of the Invermere facility.

Jack MacKenzie

Regina, Saskatchewan