B.C. Election 2017: Parties agree home care, long-term care and mental health need more spending

April 29, 2017

kelowna-b-c-june-3-2014-sophia-farquhar-a-six-year-o
Sophia Farquhar, a six year old Big Brooks volunteer, sits with Stella Zdrill, a Brookhaven Care resident in West Kelowna on June 2, 2014. Brookhaven Care is an Interior Health Authority long term care facility that has a program where kids interact with the residents. JEFF BASSETT / VANCOUVER SUN

The B.C. Green party wants to create three different health ministries, the B.C. NDP says it will boost hospital operating room times to reduce surgical wait times, while the B.C. Liberals plan to keep renovating and building new hospitals – with $2.7 billion earmarked in spending for such capital construction in the next three years alone.

The governing Liberals are also promising to increase the number of medical doctors graduating from the University of B.C., from the current 288 to 400 by 2025. UBC is already one of the largest medical schools in North America, but Liberal MLA Andrew Wilkinson, a medical doctor, said it should expand even more “because we need more doctors.”
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Health Care Assistants training for Princeton residents

April 14, 2017

MEDIA RELEASE
March 29, 2017

Okanagan College

HCA students Princeton March 2017:: (1)

Aging populations and retirements among baby boomer health care workers could spell a shortage of Health Care Assistants (HCAs) in many B.C. communities over the next decade. A special one-time intake of Okanagan College’s HCA program completed in Princeton recently and is already opening doors to health care careers for students in that community.

Natasha Smith has dreamt of a career in health care for more than fifteen years. On March 16, she became one of eight students to complete the program in Princeton.

A mother of three school-aged children, Smith says the hour-plus commute to the Okanagan College’s Penticton campus where the program is also offered, is not feasible for her. So when she learned the College would be offering an intake of its HCA program right in her hometown, she jumped at the chance.
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Walk with your Doc

April 3, 2017

Walk with your doc

Dr. Ella Monro gave a report on recent activities at Cascade Medical Clinic and announced that several Princeton practitioners will be participating in this year’s Walk with your Doc event.

Last year more than 4600 walkers from across the province joined over 300 doctors in promotion of the health benefits of daily activity. This is the first year that Princeton docs will be participating in the event and they look forward to healthy involvement from the community.

For more information phone Nadine McEwen at the Princeton Visitors Centre at 250-295-6067.

From: Princeton Health Care Steering Committee
Monthly Meeting – March 21, 2017
Ed Staples

RCCbc recognizes SOHC

March 30, 2017

SOHC at Rural Locum Conference - Nanaimo
SOHC Secretary Nienke Klaver and President Ed Staples meeting a delegate at the Rural Locum Conference held in Nanaimo on February 25. (photo by Sharon Mah, RCCbc)

The following article appeared in the March 2017 issue of BC Rural Update, the online news letter of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC:

“In 2012, the community of Princeton was in crisis. There was only one physician on-call for the community of nearly 3,000 people, the ER was closed for four nights a week, and there was a shortage of nurses, medical office assistants, and laboratory staff. Through the combined efforts of the Support Our Health Care (SOHC) group, the Cascade Medical Centre, the Princeton General Hospital, and allied health care workers, the community was able to recruit and retain additional health care staff and work with several stakeholders to restore existing services, and even introduce new specialist clinics to the community.

Princeton locals Ed Staples and Nienke Klaver, are two of the founding members of SOHC who have worked tirelessly to advocate, coordinate network, and support the community’s health care professionals. In a conversation with RCCbc last year, Nienke mentioned tongue-in-cheek that SOHC has become a retirement project for her and Ed! We salute the efforts of SOHC in enabling the transformation of Princeton from a community in crisis to one that is now stable, and look forward to seeing what innovative programs the community will put forth over the next few years.”

Click the following link for more RCCbc information:
RCCbc online newsletter

The Twisted Business of Donating Plasma

March 21, 2017

Since 2008, plasma pharmaceuticals have leapt from $4 billion to a more than $11 billion annual market. Donors desperate for the cash incentive from high-frequency “plassing” may be putting their health, and the public’s, at risk.
plasma

I needed the cash.
That was how I found myself laying in a plasma “donation” room filled with about 40 couches, each equipped with a blood pressure cuff and a centrifuge. A white-coated attendant (workers aren’t required to have medical or nursing degrees) pricked my arm. He separated my plasma from my whole blood into a large bottle, and returned my protein-depleted blood, which flowed back into my arm to rebuild my nutrient supply.

“My house is so noisy with four kids so I come here for my relaxation,” said a middle-aged, haggard-looking woman on the next couch, the plasmapheresis machine at her side whirring. A clinician instructed us both to pump and relax our fists, like cows milking our own udders.
Before leaving I received a calendar that mapped out my pay, if I maintained a twice-weekly schedule for subsequent donations. Even a $10 bonus on my next visit!

How did I get here? My rent was due. I had insufficient funds in the bank. I was 48-years-old, a journalist running short on cash from writing assignments and odd jobs. That was when I saw an ad offering $50 per plasma donation: blood money, or more specifically, payment for my time and any small pain involved in the process of having protein-rich plasma extracted from the blood. Regulars call it “plassing.” Read more »

Alberta passes legislation banning payment for blood donation

March 21, 2017

Alberta has joined the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in banning payment for the collection of blood or plasma from donors.

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman commented, “Donating blood should not be viewed as a business venture, but as a public resource that saves lives every day.”

The legislation protects Alberta’s voluntary blood donation system, banning payment to donors and advertising for paid donations.

SOHC urges the BC government to join Alberta, Ontario and Quebec and pass similar legislation. (click on the following link to read SOHC’s position paper on the subject of paying for plasma)
Do Blood and Money Mix – SOHC position paper

Report on Princeton’s Specialist Care

March 20, 2017

To read about specialists visiting Princeton please click the link below.

Princeton Access to SPs Phase 1 Report Sept.2015
shared care

Excerpt:
AIM
The aim of the Princeton Access to Specialist Care project was to improve and sustain access to specialist care in the Princeton area, and to support Princeton family physicians.

Patients from Princeton with significant health concerns often need to travel to Penticton or Kelowna for investigations and specialist appointments.

Barriers to travel prevent about 30% of Princeton area patients from receiving specialist care, creating an added burden on rural family doctors. Initiated in the fall of 2013, the intention of the project is to improve health outcomes and quality of life of Princeton patients, and to increase the likelihood of retaining Princeton family physicians.

INTENDED OUTCOMES
• Increase number and variety of specialist clinics in Princeton
• Improve processes, knowledge transfer, and relationships between specialists, family physicians, other healthcare providers and patients
Improve physician, healthcare provider and patient experience

MAJOR OBJECTIVES
An interdisciplinary project team, including representatives from Princeton family physicians, Penticton specialists, their MOAs, Princeton General Hospital (PGH) management and staff, Community Integrated Health Services administration, and Shared Care project staff set out to:
• Develop, implement and test outreach clinic formats to provide appropriate specialist care in Princeton
• Provide Princeton physicians with customized education and relationship-building opportunities through on-site CMEs (Continuing Medical Education) with visiting specialists
• Engage feedback from physicians, healthcare providers and patients about their experience with the new approaches to care

BECOME A MEMBER

To become a member of SOHC, please
email the secretary.
Annual membership is $2.
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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