Taking matters into their own hands

The saying, ‘If you want something done, then you have to do it yourself,’ unfortunately seems to ring true.

The saying, ‘If you want something done, then you have to do it yourself,’ unfortunately seems to ring true where Burns Lake’s health care is concerned.

It has been nearly a year since the public forum on health care was held at the Island Gospel Church. Many promises were made and the majority of these promises still remain unfulfilled.

The community was told that there would definitely be 24/7 emergency room services available at the Lakes District Hospital. This has not been the case and several times community members relying on emergency medical care have discovered that they have to leave Burns Lake in the midst of an emergency for help. Not an ideal situation to say the least.

The Burns Lake Medical Clinic Society really seems to be taking the community health care deficiency into their own hands, and I have to say that their business plan seems pretty impressive.

Judging by the success of the ‘model’ clinic in Dryden, Ontario, the society seem to be on a path to setting our health care system straight. While I don’t think we need 32 doctors in Burns Lake like they have in Dryden, the chance to have more than the few we currently have is very appealing.

Not only that, but the society hopes to have the clinic up and running by Feb. 1, 2012 – which is quite an ambitious time line. It’s a short time line to accomplish so much and I hope the funding the society needs falls into place.

The fact that they have three doctors waiting in the wings is also impressive.

Three full time doctors that want to come to live in Burns Lake and work at the society’s clinic. This is certainly welcome news.

You do have to wonder, that if the society is able to find these doctors – why then  couldn’t Northern Health or the physicians of the privately owned Burns Lake Medical Clinic?

After all, isn’t recruiting medical professionals one of the functions Northern Health are paid top dollar to fulfill?

While the society’s plan is welcome news, it is a shame that local community members have to go to these lengths to have reliable and stable health care on offer.

We already have a clinic and a hospital so it would have been nice if, between Northern Health and the current physicians things could have been worked out without all the drama of the past year.

Maybe this is still a possibility.

It also seems that society member John Illes was a little premature in announcing Northern Health support for the not for profit medical clinic.

When I spoke with Michael McMillan, Northern Health’s chief operating officer he was a little surprised that it was publicly announced that Northern Health have given their support to the project …

Either way, with the support of Northern Health, or not, the society are planning to forge ahead with their idea.

I think it is great that we have such a motivated group of people concerned for the community and a group that is so determined to set Burns Lake’s health care on a path to recovery.

I really hope they are able to achieve their goals.