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Letters April 24: Health system must be seen as a whole; easier public transit

Consider health system as a whole Funding in the provincial budget for addiction treatment and youth mental health will make a considerable dent in these mental-health problems. More is needed. How much more? No idea.
A bus leaves the B.C. Transit yard off Gorge Rd East.

Consider health system as a whole

Funding in the provincial budget for addiction treatment and youth mental health will make a considerable dent in these mental-health problems.

More is needed. How much more? No idea. How much will these measures help? No idea. And that’s a problem.

We tell people to see a family doctor if they have mental-health concerns. I recently asked family doctors who refer to my psychiatry practice what they need.

They told me they can’t access resources for patients too complex to treat in a family practice or walk-in clinic. Therapists cost big money people don’t have. Psychiatrists aren’t taking patients, have year-long waiting lists, and see most people only once.

People are getting sicker and sicker. Too many end up in the emergency room. Most leave no closer to the long-term solutions they need.

The entire mental-health system is a living organism, one part affecting the other. We can’t throw money at parts of it without measuring how the whole is functioning. Measure, invest where needed, and measure again. Transparency and accountability top to bottom.

That means regular report cards with data on wait times, level of service and quality of care.

Nobody is going to like their grades, but we can’t keep going on like this. I’ll personally give the government a free pass for everything up until now. But moving forward, let’s smarten up.

Dr. Pauline Lysak, psychiatrist

We need to plan for the coming pandemics

“A budget for this year, but not the future,” editorial, April 21.

The editorial rightly states: ” If we do indeed incur the ongoing deficits she [Finance Minister Selina Robinson] predicts, there will be a day of reckoning that all of us will have to suffer through.”

Yes, and equally true of the new federal budget. Is any Canadian government anticipating the possible economic and social perfect storm ahead? Are they planning for the next pandemic?

Speaking roughly, the Spanish Influenza pandemic was followed in 37 years by the Asian Flu, which was followed in 23 years by AIDS, which was followed in 22 years by SARS, which was followed in six years by H1N1, the so-called Swine flu, which was followed in nine years by COVID-19.

The pattern of shorter intervals is broken in the last instance, but not by much.

Six to seven years and counting?

Tony Parr

Signs at the border, but parties on the beach

Premier John Horgan has posted divisive signs at the border and crows about it in news conferences using the same cheap political devices as Donald Trump employed.

Stop blaming Albertans for your COVID-19 problems, and focus on those partying on the beaches and spreading the viruses within the B.C. borders.

Why is he playing cheap political games? Because Albertans don’t vote here, but the Covidiots on the beaches do. Very poor and divisive leadership.

Terry Medd

Make it easier to use public transit

Victoria and all municipalities on southern Vancouver Island need to address our public transportation system now.

It sounds like a broken record, but how can we make a real difference to reduce climate change emissions if we don’t get drivers, including me, out of their cars?

There seems to be stubborn resistance to addressing the problem. We need a united, comprehensive network of low-emission buses, ranging in size according to ridership, efficiently travelling to where people need to go.

Fares must be low enough to make riding the bus more economical than jumping into individual cars. What is holding us up? Surely we have no choice.

Nicola Ferdinando

Children deserve music in their education

I am once again dismayed at the decision of the Greater Victoria School District to cut music programs. I was an administrator when the proposal to cut the “strings program” was a serious consideration. The teachers, students and parents successfully lobbied to save it.

In my 40 years as an educator, I have seen the demise of full-time librarian positions as well as a scarcity of art teachers and art materials and so on.

My point is that the arts are important as they introduce students to new ideas and help them develop skills they may use throughout their lives.

As a parent, your children deserve to have music as part of their curriculum. My grandchildren deserve the same.

Ken Harper
Davis Bay


• Email letters to:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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