Every resident of the west coast should thank Dr. Bob Cook for standing up for them on the issue of what services the planned regional hospital will offer.
Cook last week came forward to rebut the opinion of the provincial minister of health, Susan Sullivan, that putting an expensive PET scanner in the health facility would be too costly and there wouldn’t be enough use for it.
Cook, a Corner Brook radiologist, has a strongly differing opinion about the cost to buy and operate the machine ... and the amount of use it would get helping diagnose a range of diseases. It’s about time the health professionals who will be working and providing care at the new facility began offering their opinions in public like Cook.
Lay people can argue about what they want and think is needed in the regional hospital but those opinions won’t carry the same weight as a medical professional going on the record.
If individual doctors feel they are not able to voice their opinions like Cook, they do belong to organizations that can take a collective stand and put a case to government for the good of their patients.
So far all consultations about what the new regional hospital should contain and what services it should offer have been done by hired consultants behind closed doors. The general public strongly suspects this region will get a second-rate regional hospital, but they are left out of the loop when it comes to the details and discussions.
Members of the medical community in this region should and must speak out before all the planning is done and a decision made that will be difficult, if not impossible, to change.
The people of this region are looking for someone with some clout to stand up and make a case for them.
Cook is the first. Let’s hope he isn’t the last.