Build new partnerships

Editor:

Open letter to Northern Health Authority

On behalf of the community of Palling the members of the Palling Recreation Commission wish to express urgently our deepest concerns with the present level of health care service in Burns Lake.

The rapid decline of health services in Burns Lake is tragic. What binds a community at its heart are generations of families having their babies, loved one’s receiving care for chronic health issues and/or as they leave this world all safely in their community.

We have come to understand that this critical impasse happened in other communities.

Facilities old and obsolete, doctors stretched to their limits forced to resign, a community in fear, and perhaps an avoidable death seem to be requirements that get Northern Health’s bureaucratic bolus moving.

We will speak in the context that our new hospital is coming, and repeat what many concerned citizens have said.

We need an equipped operating room and emergency room.

The reasons are a no-brainer for a rural town such as ours with high risk, growing populations, resource sector activity, and dangerous seasonal highways. Also add the distance to the next adequate facility that can handle serious emergencies. Presently, rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, are unavailable for adults in Burns Lake and according to your external job postings list, not being recruited. Perhaps it’s necessary to revisit some Northern Health mission statements.

In the Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Performance Measures section of your 2010/11 – 2012/13 service plan report there are four goals and objectives: improve health and wellness for British Columbians; British Columbians have the majority of their health needs met by high quality community based health care and support services; British Columbians have access to high quality acute care services when they need them; Improved innovation, productivity and efficiency in the delivery of health services.

These goals and objectives have yet to be met, meanwhile our local health care situation degenerates.

Despite the state of our health care services here in the Lakes District, many feel there is opportunity to start new. We encourage you to act immediately on the plans for the new hospital.

Let innovation and patient centered care lead the way to a modern facility that embraces different health care professionals such as nurse practitioners.

We hope that you seize this opportunity to create a facility with a positive working environment that will attract and keep healthcare professionals.

Northern Health must build new partnerships for the future, focuses on quality patient care, community education, and equal access to acute services.

Tania Cunningham