Letters to the Editor for the week of March 29th, 2012 

Take responsibility

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I am deeply troubled with another death of a young person after an evening of drinking and socializing with friends. Perhaps "friends" need to take a deeper look at caring and being responsible. I am certain that each of us would like to think that if we were in a position of not being able to make wise decisions, that our friends or even others would step in — not just say it is not my responsibility.

Perhaps if someone had answered the text message, or phone calls, even though they were in the wee hours both of these young people would be alive.

As a parent, I can tell you I have answered my phone in the wee morning hours, driven many young people home and even encouraged them to sleep it off at my house.

Let us all step up, let us all care, let us all be willing to be accountable.

Cynthia Hood

Pemberton

Second local orthopedic surgeon a must

Thank you for Alison (Taylor's) March 15th (Pique) article that highlights the work performed at the Whistler Health Care Centre (WHCC). We are very proud of our staff and the hard work and caring they exemplify. We may not have all the tools some of the bigger centres do but we deliver an exceptional product with what we have, especially in the management of acute orthopedic trauma.

I noted with interest (Pique reporter's) John French's timely article about Dr. Pat McConkey's impending retirement. We are extremely concerned about this. Orthopedic injuries represent 40 per cent or roughly 8,000 patient visits annually at WHCC. Dr. McConkey has provided Sea to Sky (STS) residents with excellent access to expert orthopedic surgical care for many years, especially with acute ligamentous knee injuries. He has performed more than 3,500 knee surgeries in his career! If VCH doesn't approve the hiring of a local orthopedic surgeon to replace Dr. McConkey, Dr. Alix Brooks-Hill will be left alone to practice orthopedic surgery in rural isolation in the corridor. With only one surgeon, more patients will either have to travel to the city or be seen less frequently and inconsistently by city surgeons who rotate through the corridor.

For the past five years our corridor has been well served by two LOCAL orthopedic surgeons with specialty training in sport surgery (Dr. Brooks-Hill and Dr. McConkey). To maintain the integrity of the LOCAL orthopedic program, the VCH administration was initially asked to engage in succession planning for Dr. McConkey over four years ago. Over a year ago, the medical staffs of the three communities in the corridor endorsed a corridor orthopedic plan that involved replacing McConkey, as well as increasing LOCAL orthopedic trauma surgery at Squamish General Hospital. The VCH administration still has not responded.

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