The following letter was sent to the Coalmont Courier, the Similkameen News Leader and the Similkameen Spotlight newspapers:
Over the past fifteen months, Support Our Health Care (SOHC) has been working collaboratively with several organizations and individuals to improve health care for Princeton and Area residents. The recent developments announced by IHA are proof that these efforts are beginning to pay off. By the end of October, we will have four full time physicians and a nurse practitioner serving the health care needs of our community. We will also have a Steering Committee that will provide residents with a way to present their concerns and suggestions for improving our health care model.
We have arrived at this point as a result of many hours of work done by many people. They deserve to be recognized and thanked for their successful efforts. After the development of a trusting and respectful relationship with the Interior Health Authority, they have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” and worked cooperatively with our community to set the stage for ongoing improvements to our health care model. They cannot be thanked enough. It was through their efforts in cooperation with Dr. Eva Idanwekhai that we now have a full complement of five health care practitioners who will be serving our community.
It’s also important to recognize the role played by our provincial government. This past March, the Ministry of Health and the BC Medical Association announced the Rural Physicians for British Columbia incentive, providing Princeton and Area with two, $100,000 signing bonuses for physicians committing to a three-year return of service in Princeton.
SOHC would also like to recognize the work done by the Town of Princeton, the Area H Regional Director, and the Industry Stakeholders Group. Their experience and support has been critical to our present level of success.
Princeton is fortunate to have come this far. Not only have we taken care of our doctor shortage and ultimately our 24/7 ER problem, we will soon have “an ongoing mechanism for collaboration” that will involve IHA, our health care practitioners, the Town of Princeton, and RDOS.
SOHC supports the Princeton Health Care Action Framework and we are optimistic that it will provide for a sustainable and effective health care model for our community. We also recognize that this is only the beginning and the real work lies ahead.