Letters Feb. 9: YMCA-YWCA will serve downtown; compensation for doctors

YMCA-YWCA will still serve downtown

Re: “We need more than just a new swimming pool,” commentary, Feb. 6.

A point of clarification. The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island is actively working on the replacement of our facility in downtown Victoria.

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We are fully committed to continuing to serve the downtown and surrounding communities through our health and wellness programs and services, childcare, community housing, leadership development and outdoor education initiatives, as we have done since 1875.

Nick Mosky, board chair

Derek Gent, chief executive officer

YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island

City vehicles endure the potholes, too

If we started planting flowers in all the potholes on the streets of Victoria, it would look like Butchart Gardens at every turn.

Another reader recently said that there isn’t a crew of city workers dedicated to spotting road damage, and it was up to citizens to report potholes.

I drive all day for a living and I see City of Victoria cars and trucks bouncing through the same jarring pits I do. Maybe they need to make note and return to fill the holes when they have time.

C. Scott Stofer

Victoria

Bus stops not a spot for dumping garbage

Every morning, I stand at a bus stop at Majestic Drive and Dougall Avenue, waiting for a bus to take me to work downtown.

Every morning, someone has dumped their secondhand household goods, used electronics or household garbage at this bus stop. Sometimes, even on the bus-stop seats where commuters are supposed to sit.

One recent morning there was a large cardboard box, full of perfectly good books, sitting on the ground in the rain. Now they are garbage.

A bus stop is not a dumping ground for stuff that you don’t want, and are too lazy to discard in an appropriate manner. A bus stop is for people like me, waiting to get on a bus. I don’t have any room in my lunchbag, for a soggy old book anyway.

A.S. Cameron

Saanich

Too much paperwork? That’s not news

Re: “What Doctors of B.C. is doing to solve GP shortage, address pay disparity,” Feb. 7.

I was struck by two points in the commentary by Dr. Kathleen Ross, president of Doctors of B.C., in which she addressed the shortage of family doctors.

Ross stated that physicians were “recently polled” and it was learned that family doctors’ greatest dissatisfaction centred on the huge amount of paperwork that accumulates and the lack of resources to care for patients who have multiple conditions.

Has anyone been listening? I’ve heard the same things from any number of family physicians for many years.

If Ross and others are only coming to realize those facts now, little wonder we have the problem we do.

I believe the message that thousands of us wish to deliver to both the B.C. medical profession and the provincial government is fix the problem — now!

We have had enough obfuscation, study upon study with no solutions, photo opportunities, unkept commitments, bureaucratic bungling and bafflegab along with no meaningful action that enough is enough — we have a crisis on our hands.

To just now come to the realization of the facts which Ross identifies leaves me incredulous.

James P. Crowley

North Saanich

Family doctors need fair compensation

I work in a walk-in clinic/family practice office and am frequently confronted with a waiting room full of patients (20 or more), five examining rooms with patients and patients waiting at the clinic’s entrance way.

Many of these patients have no family doctor or are unable to see their own doctor. Often patients are turned away because we cannot service the demand.

Family doctors are retiring, doing cosmetic medicine part- or full-time, becoming hospitalists and practising out of province for better compensation. Fifteen (five per cent) of the recent University of B.C. graduating class is entering family practice.

Doctors of B.C. have not been assertive enough in their negotiations with the government, in demanding better compensation for family doctors, increasing medical school training, and proceeding more quickly in changes in delivery of patient care.

Doctors of B.C. also need to be our patient’s advocate to the government and encourage patients to express their concerns about lack of family doctors to the government.

“Want more family doctors? Change how they work and get paid,” says researcher Rita McCracken, MD, PhD at UBC.

Her comment sums the present situation with the GP shortage very well.

Bob Browett, MD

Victoria

Support the national basketball team

Re: “Raptors’ Super Fan stops in Victoria to pump up Canada,” Jan. 30.

Victoria — thank you for welcoming me to your beautiful city. It was great getting to know local basketball fans of all ages and cultures.

And it will be even better when we meet again during the FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in June.

Our men’s national team is going to be loaded with serious talent and will have as good of a chance as any team to book their ticket to Tokyo.

The Toronto Raptors showed the world that when Canada plays with the best, we win. With the combination of top-notch NBA talent, Nick Nurse’s coaching and home-court advantage, an Olympic medal in Tokyo is within reach.

But first, we need to earn our way there.

The last Olympic medal our men’s national team won was a silver at the 1936 Berlin Games.

The gold-medal game was played in the pouring rain, on a dirt court, with a final score of 19-8.

Basketball has come a long way since 1936, but that competitive spirit is what must carry through. Let’s make some noise! And let’s give Canada a true home court advantage!

The City of Victoria is committed, the Province of B.C. is committed, Canada is committed, the players are committed — now it’s time for all the fans to show commitment by coming out and supporting our national team.

Nav Bhatia

Official Toronto Raptors’ Superfan

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