You can drive past it every day on your way to work, or stop in and spend time with a friend or loved one who is a patient there, but until it's your own health you're dealing with, I don't think any of us realize how wonderful our University Hospital of Northern B.C. truly is.
From the moment when you hand over your Care Card to the admitting clerk, most of your medical financial costs are either free or next thing to it. Mammograms, X-rays, elector-cardiograms and whatever other diagnostic tests happen, doctors and nurses, surgeons and other specialists ensure that you are given the best care they can while you are there.
You could be visited by a medical student doctor from Whitehorse, or perhaps the one that lives around the corner from you in Prince George who is studying in the Northern Medical Program at UNBC. There's the ECG technician that calls your name and greets you with a welcoming hug because she once was your neighbour.
There's friendly staff from every nationality who have come here to Prince George to practice their skills and they do it all with pride.
The locally trained nurses, the cleaning and support staff as well as the administrative personnel are all part of this well-oiled machine that in my mind, do an excellent job of providing medical treatment for all of us. Even that little girl you watched grow up and become one of the department head nurses, made a point of coming over and checking on me.
Travelling through the hallways, there are signs thanking donors and organizations for contributing medical equipment and fixtures to improve the quality of care for those who are patients there. The Ladies Auxiliary volunteer staff also spend endless hours also helping to make visitors welcome, as well as raise thousands of dollars every year to contribute to the hospital wish list. And next door to the hospital is a wonderful cancer clinic and Kordyban Lodge, also a result of major donations from area residents, fundraising and government tax dollars.
As a long-time resident of Prince George I have to say, we've come a long way Prince George!
And while it isn't perfect, our hospital and staff are something to be very proud of, and I'm thankful they took care of me so well.
Mary Jane Allen