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Letters Feb. 21: Television trouble at the hospitals; supplying drugs; a better spot for that tower

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Denis Moffatt and his wife Elizabeth Diane Moffatt with a non-functioning television in Elizabeth’s room at the Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Inhumane to go without a television

Re: “Former RN now a Royal ­Jubilee patient waits months for TV to be repaired,” Feb. 18.

The article about malfunctioning TVs in Royal Jubilee got my blood running.

Over Christmas 2021 and into early 2022, I was a bedbound patient, 30 days in all. The erratic TVs were a constant, chronic issue.

The nurses and aides tried their best, fiddling with the dials and connections, for the most part to no avail. Two years later, the issue persists.

The company engaged to do this work has failed miserably. It seems to have little regard for the level of frustration suffered by patients who have few options for diversion.

It’s time for the contractor to be replaced. It is a large and continuing job servicing a considerable number of televisions. The fact that they have gone unserviced for years, and may in fact need replacing, is something the hospital is surely aware of, but ducking.

The situation might appear trivial, but for bedbound patients it is demoralizing and inhumane.

Scott Hylands

Victoria

Cancel the contract if TVs don’t work

Re: “Former RN now a Royal ­Jubilee patient waits months for TV to be repaired,” Feb. 18.

I was recently at both Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals and found the television situation dismal.

I was told by the hospital staff that only 50 per cent of the televisions work at both hospitals. This is clearly a morale situation for patients and if the company can’t/won’t fix the situation, Island Health should cancel the contract.

Rick Raynsford

Victoria

Stream those shows on a laptop

Re: “Former RN now a Royal ­Jubilee patient waits months for TV to be repaired,” Feb. 18.

I haven’t owned a television for several years and stream all my shows on my computer. Perhaps the patient’s family could bring a laptop so she can watch her favourite shows.

She could watch Jeopardy! on CHEK TV, and Knowledge has excellent British programs which she might enjoy.

They would have to take the laptop with them when they left so it wouldn’t be stolen, but at least it could give her a few hours of relief. Waiting for Island Health “Borgs” to do step up would be futile.

Marie E. LeBlanc

Victoria

Broken televisions at Cowichan, too

Re: “Former RN now a Royal ­Jubilee patient waits months for TV to be repaired,” Feb. 18.

The same issue is happening in Cowichan District Hospital. My wife was there for three months in a four-bed room with the other patients in various stages of Alzheimer’s.

Some TVs worked, but not my wife’s. She cannot read as her stroke affected short-term memory.

Finally brought her a tablet so she could watch shows that I loaded into the tablet each day. I tried calling the posted number for service. but got no response.

It’s BS being stuck in hospital without something to distract you from the never-ending days of chaos or boredom.

Barry Kimble

Crofton

No, you’re not alone in wanting action

Re: “Adults, please stand up to solve the drug problems,” letter, Feb. 19.

Wow, and here I thought I was pretty much the only one who felt this way!

Government is spending millions of dollars supply safe drugs to drug addicts, while several people I know battling Crohn’s disease and lung disorders have to pay through the nose to get their drugs.

Shame on government for fueling the stupidity – and shame on those of us who have kept quiet about it.

Kat Kiely

Parksville

Mountaintop tower needs a better spot

Re: “Little communication about that new tower,” letter, Feb 17.

We wholeheartedly support the writer’s position opposing Saanich’s proposal to place their new communications tower at PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park) in the middle of the small summit parking lot instead of beside the existing tower where it would barely be noticed.

Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock and council have a choice. Either continue with those plans, leaving us with an eyesore as visitors approach the summit, and even more limited parking at the top.

This “Murdock Monstrosity,” as it may unkindly be dubbed, will be a point of contention in perpetuity.

Or, let esthetics prevail, even if it costs a little more, and place this tower where it won’t be quite so visible and intrusive.

Our park is a jewel. We need to protect it.

Nick and Marilyn Marsden

Saanich

The butcher Putin lives another day

This week marks one decade since the evil tyrant Vladimir Putin’s military ­occupation of Crimea; it also will mark the start of a third year of Russia’s invasion of a sovereign democratic Ukraine, with a mere 30 per cent of Russia’s population and roughly one-thirtieth of its land mass and without its comparable vast army, weaponry, and resources.

Ukraine has had mainly to rely on Europe, Britain and the United States for support to defend its nationhood.

Yet somehow Ukraine is doing just that against all odds, but at unfathomable human cost and devastation.

Yes, there’s a real-life war going on — before our very eyes — with the blood of Ukrainian defenders, soldiers and civilians — men, women, children — forever permeating the memory of Ukraine’s survivors.

Calendar markings momentarily aside, the murder of Russia’s opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is yet another reminder of the unfathomable depths of depravity of war criminal Putin.

The tragedy is it that a butcher lives to breathe another day while Russia’s true statesman is sacrificed.

Lest we forget Alexei Navalny, a ­candle for democracy too soon extinguished.

Lest we forget there’s a real war going on in Ukraine. Our aggregate support is urgent!

Slava Ukraini!

Gordon Zawaski

Parksville

Let’s take up the fight in Navalny’s name

Re: “Navalny is now immortal, Putin has never been weaker” commentary, Feb. 17.

Alexei Navalny is immortalized, for as long as we’ll actively remember him.

Many before have been immortalized fighting despots, fascists and dictators, yet the world is rife with conflict and unstable as ever.

With the highest respect for the former ambassador, and my gratitude to Jeremy Kinsman for serving our country, I honestly can’t see how Putin is weaker today.

Clearly, he’s weak-minded, a vainglorious madman like Hitler or Stalin. But right now, I can’t see how Putin is weakened.

The death of Navalny seems calculated, sudden and out-of-sight like other Kremlin dissenters who’ve inexplicably fallen from windows. It feels as if Putin is puppeteering, provoking to expose western “consequences.”

Obviously, I can’t know what 1938 was like, but the history of that period seems creepingly familiar, with Putin’s annexations and invasion of Ukraine just the start. Surreal, like the Second World War restarting.

I see Navalny as a sentinel, a watcher for liberty and justice, a fighter brave and unafraid of dying.

Freedom isn’t free, peace has a price. For our next generations, I hope we keep Navalny front-of-mind, with a watchful eye on the east, ready to take up the fight in his name.

P.J. Smith

Mayne Island

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