The movement of clinical pathology services from the Campbell River Hospital to Victoria is a hot topic for the community.

Citizens for Quality Health Care (CQHC) and the Council for Canadians (COC) held a “town hall” meeting at the Campbell River Sportsplex Sunday afternoon to discuss the changes.

All were welcome to share experiences and sign a petition demanding the return of clinical pathology services, which is now handled by Vancouver Island Clinical Pathology Consulting Corporation.

CQHC member Lois Jarvis says the charges have led to longer wait times for results.

“The turn around times, the times from when a specimen is taken from the patient until the doctor gets a report is much longer than is acceptable. It is putting patients at risk, especially patients that have urgent or emergent cases. It could be life-threatening for those people.”

Jarvis says many efforts have been made over the last 10 months to correct the situation that never should have happened in the first place.

“No one seems to be listening. We’ve been writing letters and doing all kinds of things. We had to proceed with the ‘town hall’ and we will proceed to continue working on this until they rectify the situation VIHA has created, which is negatively impacting patients.”

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, senior general pathologist at the Campbell River Hospital and Dr. Peter Olesen, senior plastic surgeon were in attendance and shared their concerns in front of the crowd.

“The purpose of holding the ‘town hall’ meeting is to inform a lot more people,” says CQHC member Barbara Biley. “We expect every single person who came here that agrees there’s a problem that needs to be solved to talk to their friends and co-workers and spread the word.”

She’s encouraging the community to contact government officials as well.

“Maybe we’ll get a response from them and then we’ll access the situation and see what we should do next.”