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February 5, 2019

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Our AGM was held on January 20, 2019. The following people were elected to the 2019 Board of Directors:

President – Ed Staples
Vice President – Bill Day
Secretary – Nienke Klaver
Treasurer – Jon Bartlett
Directors – Lynn Wells, Rika Reubsaat, and Frank Turner 

SOHC 2019 Board

A few highlights from ‘Our Year in Review’

  • South Okanagan Similkameen Rural Healthcare Community Coalition:SOHC continues its involvement in the Coalition. The Coalition involves the communities of Osoyoos, Oliver, Keremeos, and Princeton and comprises representatives from healthcare practitioners, municipal government, First Nations, Interior Health, allied health, and additional community organizations
  • Community Health Care Education:Under the direction of Lynn Wells, the Princeton and District Health Directory was completed and distributed in the community.
  • National Pharmacare Campaign:In September, SOHC collected over 600 signatures on a petition supporting the creation of a Canadian Pharmacare system as proposed by the Parliamentary All Party Health Committee. The petition was submitted to parliament through our MP, Dan Albas
  • British Columbia Rural Health Network:SOHC has been actively involved in the  BC Rural Health Network over the past year. Ed Staples was chosen as the  Chair of the BCRHN (https://bcrhn.ca)
  • Research Projects:
    • SOHC participated in a research study exploring community level recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural BC communities. This research is part of the Rural Evidence Review project at UBC Vancouver and involved several communities in the BC Rural Health Network.
    • Kathy Rush and Michael Chiasson (UBCO researchers) shared a Summary of Findings and Key Activities from the research they conducting into theEntrepreneurial Activities of Citizen-Led Coalitions in Supporting Rural Older Adults in Healthcare. SOHC was one of the participants in this research project.
    • Members of the SOHC Executive attended the Rural Health Services Research Conference in Nelson, May 30 – June 1. Of great interest was the presentation by Jude Kornelsen on the Rural Catchment Project: Strengthening local evidence through a catchment methodology that outlined concerns about the organization of geopolitical areas that do not necessarily reflect the natural population catchments of rural communities
    •  In July, SOHC attended a Group Community Meeting at Princeton General Hospital as part of the BC Rural Site Visits Program conducted by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC. The purpose of the meeting was to gather information on the healthcare service challenges in our community.
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A Photo Exhibit to Share the Results of the Rural Mental Health Photo Voice Study

January 15, 2019

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Photographer: Nola

Photographer: Nola

How does it feel to be an older adult with a mental health concern in a rural community?

“You have to watch what you say, you never know how it will affect someone. When people cross the street to avoid me, I can’t stop thinking about it.

Mental health is a major health issue in Canada. With our aging population, mental health concerns are increasing in this age group. The number of adults 50 and over continue to increase, especially in rural areas, and there is little information about their experiences with mental health concerns. Our research sought to understand the experience of adults 50 and over with mental health concerns in rural areas. Princeton was chosen for our research due to its location and demographics; in Princeton, 55% of people are 50 or older, and 82% of the population qualify as low income. We looked at this age because of significant, common transitions that affect mental health (e.g., new physical health conditions, retirement). Eight participants were a part of this research study and all had a mental health concern. Read more »

The secret moves to increase private health care

January 10, 2019

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By BOB HEPBURNStar Columnist

Wed., Jan. 9, 2019

Premier Doug Ford loves to boast about how his Conservative government is moving swiftly to end “hallway medicine” and adequately fund health care in Ontario.

Indeed, Ford said earlier this week in a letter to Ontario’s 68,000 public servants that he has been “moving forward at a lightning pace” to deal with hospital overcrowding.

Premier Doug Ford, right, told Ontario bureaucrats this month that Health Minister Christine Elliott, left, is working hard to protect the public health-care system. Evidence suggests otherwise, writes Bob Hepburn.  (RICK MADONIK / TORONTO STAR)

Premier Doug Ford, right, told Ontario bureaucrats this month that Health Minister Christine Elliott, left, is working hard to protect the public health-care system. Evidence suggests otherwise, writes Bob Hepburn.  (RICK MADONIK / TORONTO STAR)

He also told the bureaucrats that Health Minister Christine Elliott is working hard to protect the public health-care system, adding his government “will continue to ensure necessary funding for world-class health care in Ontario.”

Secretly, though, a major multi-faceted campaign is underway inside and outside the premier’s office to develop a two-tier system of health care in Ontario, complete with specialized private clinics and the ability of some doctors to charge more than standard rates for medical procedures they perform outside of a public hospital or health centre.

The campaign is filled with closed-door meetings at such places as the Albany Club, a long-time Conservative bastion in downtown Toronto, and is funded by some of Canada’s largest corporations.

If successful, this privatization push could ultimately have a profound impact on every patient and resident in Ontario, including how long they must wait for specialized operations and diagnostic services and how much they must pay out of their own pockets.

Read more »

Why isn’t there a single medical licence for all doctors in Canada?

January 5, 2019

Canada has the key to lowering drug prices. Here’s why it won’t be used any time soon

January 4, 2019
By Kelly Crowe
November 24, 2018

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There’s a battle being fought in the backrooms of Ottawa and the outcome could determine how much Canadians will pay for new drugs.

The federal government has developed a series of regulations that would lower Canada’s patented drug prices, which are among the highest in the world. Canada is second only to the U.S. in per capita drug costs.

But the new rules were like a gauntlet thrown down in the path of the pharmaceutical industry which has been lobbying federal government officials ever since.

“Drug companies understand very well what’s at stake and they’re massively mobilizing to make sure nothing happens,” said Marc-André Gagnon, a pharmaceutical policy researcher at Carleton University.

The dispute is over a policy document called “Protecting Canadians from Excessive Drug Prices” — a series of amendments to the Patent Medicine Regulations that former Health Minister Jane Philpott announced on May 16, 2017.

Read more »

Premier John Horgan opens door to including dental coverage within B.C.’s health care system

December 15, 2018
By Richard Zussman
Online Journalist based at B.C. Legislature  Global News
December 13, 2018 1:27 am Updated: December 13, 2018 11:25 am

B.C. Premier John Horgan is not opposed to the idea of the province covering dental care as part of the provincial health care system.
Horgan was asked about the issue as part of a year-end interview with Global News.
“We have been looking at it and hopefully we will be able to do something about it in the next budget,” Horgan said.

WATCH: March 2018 — B.C. to increase number of annual dental surgeries
https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/1190039619518/?jwsource=cl

The Ontario NDP unveiled a campaign promise in March in to extend dental care to people in the country’s most populated province without insurance coverage.

The NDP estimated the plan would provide dental benefits to 4.5 million Ontarians at a cost of $1.2 billion.

READ MORE: Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath pitches public dental plan

Read more »

‘It Took 16 Years’: Health Workers Celebrate Repeal of Devastating BC Liberal Laws

November 21, 2018

From giving up hopes of home ownership to declaring bankruptcy, two bills changed lives. Now, ‘there is a hope.’

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By Andrew MacLeod 19 Nov 2018 | TheTyee.ca
For Catalina Samson, a provincial government decision 16 years ago led to a big pay cut and the death of her dream of owning her own home.
At the time she was working two food services jobs, both unionized, one at a nursing home and one at Vancouver General Hospital.
“I was happy at the time,” Samson said. “I was working well. Everything was in place as a worker. I was really setting my goal toward retirement too.” Read more »

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SOHC Discussion Paper

Developing an Improved and Sustainable Health Care Model for Princeton, B.C
Support Our Health Care has released a discussion paper in order to get feedback from the community, politicians and professionals about the state of local healthcare and what the long term solutions should be.
Download PDF Here