As the news, we often tend to focus on the negative. Most recently we’ve seen a lot of stories related to moms having to travel out of the area to give birth.
Point in case, this week it’s in the news again because a few moms were told Royal Inland Hospital was too full on occasion when a bunch of babies decide to show up at the same time.
There’s no doubt that the maternity situation isn’t great. My wife and I are personally in the same situation as many other soon-to-be Cariboo parents. Currently, we’re waiting out of town for my wife to go into labour. It’s presented plenty of challenges: what to do with pets while we’re gone for potentially three weeks or so, staying in a hotel room with a two-year-old, working remotely to make sure the paper can still go out, etc.
My wife certainly has cried about the situation once or twice. Most recently after being handed a brochure that, among other things, recommended soon-to-be moms stay in their own home.
However, we sometimes forget to look at the positive. Staying in Kamloops, Kelowna or Prince George for a prolonged period of time can be an incredible expense, even if you’re still working. Just the cost of renting a hotel room alone can be massive, let alone all the other extra costs incurred. However, the government has stepped in and is helping to cover some of those costs.
This means that being short a few nurses in Williams Lake is an incredibly high expense for government. However, it also substantially improves an incredibly unfortunate situation. Without it, many young families would undoubtedly incur potentially large debts or, perhaps more likely, refuse to leave the local area. This would likely result in worse health outcomes.
It’s the second time in recent years that the government has stepped in in this way for local residents (the first being during the 2017 wildfires).
Some have suggested we should look at it as a government-sponsored holiday. It’s a far cry from that: for one thing, it’s not really a holiday until you have time off from work. For another, I don’t think many women would choose to go on “holiday” at 40 weeks pregnant.
However, it certainly makes one appreciate the social safety network we have in place. You don’t have to look far to find an entirely different situation.