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

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.

• 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

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


March 20, 2017

In the Princeton Health Care Action Framework (July, 2013), the development of a “more welcoming and healing space for patients in the health care buildings” was identified as an important component.

An aesthetic improvement working group called ‘Art for Health’  was formed, comprising Nienke Klaver, Merrilyn Huycke, Susan Delatour, and Ed Staples.

There is extensive evidence supporting the benefits of enhancing health care facilities for patients:

In a 2002 study completed by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the UK, they concluded that “placing original artworks within the healthcare environment can:

  • reduce levels of anxiety, stress and depression
  • reduce patientsʼ length of stay in the hospital
  • reduce the use of some medications
  • improve communication between patients and healthcare professionals”

On March 13 Merrilyn Huycke’s mural was installed in the lobby of the hospital. This is the fourth project of the ‘Art for Health’ committee. The first 3 being: a Japanese garden at the entrance of the hospital, a Children’s Corner at Cascade Medical Clinic, and several new framed posters in the hallways. Staples is currently fashioning a ceramic tile mural for the nurses station.

While none of the contributing artists are paid for their creations, the Princeton Arts Council is reimbursing the artists for most materials.

Blood and Politics

March 19, 2017

On March 7, 2017, the Similkameen Spotlight newspaper published an opinion piece by Tom Fletcher on Canada’s blood system (click on the link below to read the full article).

Fake news and the blood system

The following  is SOHC’s response that appeared in the March 15, 2017 issue of the Spotlight:

We would like to comment on the article in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Similkameen Spotlight – BC VIEWS: Fake news and the blood system written by Mr. Tom Fletcher.

Parts of the article express political views, including the nature of the BC Health Coalition. Mr. Fletcher has a right to his opinions, which he has expressed clearly. He is correct that the BCHC has membership from union-related organizations – 21 of them. What he fails to mention is that there are 30 other member organizations comprising groups such as pensioners, community organizations and societies (including our own). The implication that union membership in the BCHC prevents it from acting in the best interests of British Columbians is unfounded and biased.

We support Mr. Fletcher’s position that information should be accurate. We agree with him that there is no reason at this time to view commercially produced blood products, regardless of origin, as being unsafe. The Canadian “blood scandal” of the 1980s and the subsequent Krever commission findings secured a world-wide convulsive attention to blood processing of all types.

What Mr. Fletcher’s article does not address is the issue of public accountability for ongoing safety of the blood system as a whole and blood products specifically.
The current and future safety of the blood and blood products supply should not be taken for granted.
Read more »

Report on Pain Management Seminar – Princeton, BC

March 19, 2017

pdf Report on Princeton Pain Management Seminar
At the beginning of the seminar the audience was asked to complete the following information:

1. Why did you come to this pain management seminar?

2. What are you hoping to take away from this evening? Pain Management Questionnaire

At the end of the evening the participants were asked to fill in the following evaluation questions:

1. Did you find this seminar helpful? (circle one)

2. How could future pain management seminars be improved?

3. What is missing in our community? What suggestions do you have to improve services for people living with pain?

Pain Management Seminar – March 8

March 4, 2017

pdf Pain management poster

Select Standing Committee on Health 2017 Report

March 4, 2017

Dr. Denise McLeod of Prince George was one of many British Columbians who gave presentations to the province’s Select Standing Committee on Health (Citizen photo by Brent Braaten July 5 2016)

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This past week, the BC Select Standing Committee on Health released their 2017 Report entitled Looking Forward: Improving Rural Health Care, Primary Care, and Addiction Recovery Programs.

Edward Staples, SOHC President, made a presentation to the Committee in July, 2016, addressing the following three areas of inquiry:

  • How can we improve health and health care services in rural British Columbia? In particular, what long-term solutions can address the challenges of recruitment and retention of health care professionals in rural British Columbia?
  •  How can we create a cost-effective system of primary and community care built around interdisciplinary teams?
  •  How can we enhance the effectiveness of addiction recovery programs?

Read more »


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

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