Our health matters

Area residents are encouraged to see the new local doctors, so they can have full patient loads and the town can attract more physicians.

The Wellness and Health Action Coalition continues the work of improving health care for the rural communities in our catchment area. Our desires for our area are part of the mandate letter given to Interior Health by the Minister of Health. The key points are:

– Deliver patient services and care to shift the culture of health care from being disease-centred and provider-focused to being patient-centred.

– Ensure the delivery of high quality and appropriate health services that best meet the needs of our population.

– Improve care for key patient populations and service delivery that are critical to quality and sustainability by improving access and service design for primary health care, home and community care, and residential care; achieving significant improvement in timely access to appropriate surgical treatments and procedures; and working with rural communities, including First Nations, to implement a renewed approach to providing quality health care services across rural and remote areas.

These items were all identified in the community consultation that was the genesis for the Wellness and Health Action Coalition. By the end of June, Interior Health will have submitted a plan to the Minister of Health on how it will achieve these goals. The WHAC group in Ashcroft has been identified as a key resource in assisting with the success of that plan.

Now we need your help. We have two new doctors settling in to the clinic and our community. Our goal is to have five full-time doctors; we currently have three. In order to be able to successfully recruit additional medical professionals, we need to have our current three doctors with full patient loads so that there is an incentive for additional doctors to join us.

Both Dr. Obu and Dr. Zak have appointment openings virtually every day. If you really want better health care in our community and for our catchment area, you need to be a part of the solution and have one of our doctors as your primary care physician.  The faster we have our doctors with full patient loads, the faster we can get on to recruiting additional doctors. By helping us with this, you will also give us leverage in assuring the staffing levels in the hospital for our nurses and lab technicians are also maintained. To be able to return to greater hours for the emergency department we need to have additional medical staff at all levels: doctors, nurses, lab technicians, etc. We are working on this behind the scenes, and our persistence is bringing good results, but we need our community to be actively supporting this by being excited patients who are part of our clinic practice.

PS: We are also in the process of our annual membership drive. If you have been a member in the past, please renew; and if you have not joined, please do so. The higher our membership, the more influence we have in working towards better health care for our community. Membership forms are available on our website (www.whac-chb.ca) and at the People’s Drug Mart in Ashcroft.