These are the results of the Princeton and Area Healtcare Community Consultation, which took place on January 29, 2012.
Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Health, Ethics and Diversity School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
Rural healthcare delivery is complex. Each community, shaped by a unique history, geographic location and social context, has strengths and needs that collectively make up its capacity for care – capacities that shift in relation to population and resources. When healthcare needs outweigh capacities, communities reach critical points requiring focused attention. Such has been the case in the community of Princeton, British Columbia. As Interior Health and strategic partners seek to solve the complex healthcare issues, various advocacy groups have arisen in the community to better understand and support the necessary change. The Save our Hospital Coalition has been one such advocacy group. As part of the work of this Coalition, members sought to better understand the perceptions of the community regarding healthcare delivery. A community based consultation was organized to solicit the perspectives and experiences of a group of Princeton citizens. This was not a fact ï¬nding mission in that no attempt was made to verify participantâ€™s claims. Rather the purpose of the consultation was to glean the â€˜storyâ€™ from the communityâ€™s perspective, recognizing that this story is an insight into the collective wisdom that forms an essential part of the solution to such a complex
Summary and Conclusion
The purpose of this consultation was to gather collective community wisdom and perceptions about the strengths and challenges of healthcare delivery in Princeton. The consultation revealed a number of strengths that support capacity for innovation and change. Five priority challenges were identiï¬ed: physicians and 24/7 emergency room coverage; escalating downsizing of services; emergency medical services; the impacts of commuting for care; and conï¬‚icts in responsibilities and accountabilities for healthcare. Participants shared a number of potential innovations to address these
Conversations that fostered the sharing of information and the correction of misinformation were an important aspect of this consultation. Participants brought a variety of perspectives, and information was shared that was not known by other participants. Many were not aware of the work that was being done on their behalf by healthcare leaders. This consultation is one contribution to a much larger strategy to solve the identiï¬ed issues. The willingness of citizens to participate, and the conversations that occurred, revealed the degree of engagement of the community. Engagement at this level is a powerful resource for change, which bodes well for the future of healthcare delivery in Princeton.
SOHC Action Plan
Based on the concerns and issues identified in the Community Consultation Summary, SOHC developed an Action Plan to act as a roadmap for the development of an improved health care model for Princeton. To view the Action Plan, click on the following link: