Our Health Matters – Team-based health care discussed

WHAC updates the community on its monthly meetings.

The Wellness and Health Action Coalition met on July 20 and Aug. 17 in the Hospital Board Room. To date we have 51 paid members plus 31 supporters.

The majority of our meeting involved an update on our Action Plan followed by round table discussions of how things are going and what we can do to prevent unintended consequences that arise as a result of our current physician shortage.

Contrary to what some are saying, we are moving forward in our quest for sustainable health care in our area.

Physician recruitment activity for the Ashcroft Family Medical Practice is ongoing. There are also ads in the system for a part-time doctor to service the Clinton Clinic.

Both the Premier and the Minister of Health have identified primary health care as a provincial objective, and that continues to be our objective as well. At our August meeting we discussed the team based approach health care that we are seeking for our local clinic.

Continuity of care continues to be our immediate focus. The Practice Ready Assessment program will soon be underway and is expected to provide Ashcroft with two doctors in February. For continuity of care in the meantime, Dr. Humber, the Interior Health Medical Director for our catchment area, has negotiated permission to have an outreach clinic staffed by doctors in Lillooet to service patients from the Ashcroft Family Medical practice who are currently without doctors.  The process is underway to provide a bridge for doctor coverage for Ashcroft patients over the winter with residency doctors she will be supervising.

We were honoured to have MLA Jackie Tegart and her Constituency assistant, Lori Pilon, as well as Ashcroft Mayor Jack Jeyes in attendance at our August meeting. We discussed how all levels of government are important to solving rural health care needs. MLA Tegart has arranged for local mayors and Interior Health representatives to meet together in early September to discuss local health needs. The Wellness and Health Action Coalition has been asked to present an update to the group on our work to date. Shirley Dobson and Ron Hood will do this on our behalf.

The WHAC will have a booth at Ashcroft Fall Fair on Sunday, Sept. 13 and we are looking forward to meeting you and answering your questions. You, too, can become a member. Membership fee is $5 and forms are available at People’s Pharmacy.

Check out our website at www.whac-chb.ca for further information or to leave a comment or question. Next meeting is Monday, Sept. 21, 2-4 pm in the hospital board room.

Alice Durksen

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