On June 28, members of SOHC met with Jackie Tegart (MLA, Fraser-Nicola) and Brad Hope (Regional Director, Area H) to discuss Princeton’s health care. Present at the meeting were Ed Staples (VP), Nienke Klaver (Secretary), Ole Juul (Director) and June Hope (supporter).
Executive members gave a report on the present situation of Princeton’s health care, including the following:
- doctor recruitment and retention
- development of a Framework for an improved health care model for Princeton in cooperation with IHA, RDOS, SOHC and healthcare practicioners
- research on senior’s care to be conducted by Dr. Barbara Pesut in cooperation with Princeton health care professionals
- progress made on the Action Plan developed as a result of the Princeton Community Consultation
There was considerable discussion regarding the upcoming re-negotiation of the Canada Health Accord taking place in late July. SOHC identified several areas of concern and encouraged the provincial government to take a leadership role in the negotiation to provide Canadians with an improved healthcare agreement.
Jackie congratulated SOHC on its efforts and accomplishments to date. She expressed her support and a willingness to meet with us again in the future. She also provided information opening lines of communication between SOHC and her constituency office. As a resident of Ashcroft, a rural community similar to Princeton, Jackie expressed an understanding of our situation, recognizing that we share mutual problems. She was very interested in following the research based and co-operative model that SOHC has used, and is hopeful that this might be applied in other rural communities in the province.
Brad Hope gave updates on the progress being made in the development of Princeton’s Health Care Framework and discussed the ongoing progress on the funding for improvements to Penticton Regional Hospital. Since our air quality is a health concern at certain times of the year, he also reported on recent efforts to improve this situation.
SOHC would like to thank Brad Hope and Jackie Tegart for taking the time to meet with us and we look forward to continued dialogue on these issues in the future.