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REPORTING · 18th April 2010
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Health Advocacy Group (KHAG) met on Saturday, March 10th at the Chalet for their monthly meeting. After getting the basic part of the meeting out of the way, they moved into the meat of the meeting.

Jonathan Cooper, who usually represents the Hospital Administration, was not present at the meeting, as was a representative from Northern Health Authority (NHA) but he had sent an update through meeting chair and Councillor, Rob Goffinet. There were several notes in his report, the first had to do with chemotherapy

“Following the BC Cancer Agency Review of both Terrace and Kitimat Chemotherapy Clinics, the subsequent report was presented to physicians; discussion also took place between Dr. Chapman and the Mayor. The report identifies clear recommendations which require implementation. Work is underway by physicians with firm support,” read Goffinet.

He read the plan is to have chemotherapy up and running at Kitimat General Hospital within the short term once all the recommendations had been implemented and approved.

The letter moved on to equipment explaining loaner equipment is on site replacing endoscope until it arrives. The estimated time of arrival is the end of April. In addition, further equipment is on its way as requested by the surgeons.

The next part of the letter dealt with up coming events including a welcome and appreciation dinner for people in the hospital, as well as an upcoming KHAG meeting where they will be receiving the Primary Health Care Presentation which was supposed to take place at the November Meeting.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know about the status of the changes to the Chemotherapy. Dr. Derek Carstens commented there was a meeting scheduled to discuss this.

Mike Dray commented he could not believe how long this is taking because the bus is not a pleasant option for chemo patients and one person is going to and from Terrace in an ambulance. He offered to put the filing cabinet itself. It was also commented it is a matter of ten files which need to be relocated and looked after.

Goffinet stated: “The doctors are saying: They can’t understand why this should take more than a month, the three legs of the stool: The doctors expecting a concentration of all files on two of their colleagues, Done. The acquisition of space: it is already existing. Some sort of person, an administrative staff component to over see those files for the doctors because doctors don’t do the paperwork. They shouldn’t. That is very easy. I am worried about the third leg which is the apportionment and direction of time between the two chemotherapy nurses which are now on the ground between Terrace and Kitimat. They both physically reside in Kitimat,” said Goffinet.

Goffinet made it clear this was able to be completed by the end of the month and KHAG agreed things were in place and everything could be completed by the end of the month.

Mike Dray commented on the endoscope equipment and said he was worried they would not see this equipment by the end of the month.

The meeting moved onto staffing and specialty services. Dr. Derek Carstens explained the hospital is getting away from Agency Nurse Employment as these temporary nurses cost a lot of money. At the moment, they only have two agency nurses. He was also happy to report equipment was starting to arrive.

Dray wanted to know how the agency nurses were supervised as a patient was told by one agency nurse the patient did not have cancer, was full of s**t and the patient did not need treatment but needed to use the bathroom. He expressed concern the nurses were not being supervised. Dray added the patient was not cleaned, taken to the toilet and friends of the patient had to do everything for the patient. When the patient was in Vancouver they were receiving proper care. Dray suggested having the administration talk to the patients although he has heard stories of people who have been treated well in the hospital.

Luella Froess was concerned about hospital administration not being present at times.

The next topic was the NHA meeting in Kitimat. “NHA wanted a small round table workshop meeting. What it turned out to be was the community showed up in big numbers and it turned into an open forum where the community raised issues of concerns,” said Goffinet.

NHA did say they would get back to the community and respond to several of the large issues. KHAG had hoped NHA would report back to them, City Council or the Community. Goffinet wrote a letter to Marina Ellenson inviting her back to Kitimat as there is a commitment from the community to work through issues which concern them.

Goffinet pointed out there were many options to get back to the community which did not involve a huge meeting. Even by going through the local press or televised City Council Meeting with a small gallery. He also used the previous special meeting on chemotherapy as an example of how this would work. The meeting rolled on into smaller topics about the activities of KHAG in preparation for their next meeting of May 08.
Who is really full of...
Comment by Danny Nunes on 18th April 2010
Quote from the article.

"Dray wanted to know how the agency nurses were supervised as a patient was told by one agency nurse the patient did not have cancer, was full of s**t and the patient did not need treatment but needed to use the bathroom."

The answer is....the agency nurse...or any nurse for that matter who would say such a thing to a patient in need of care in the hospital....even in the face of demanding work and a stressful work environment nothing gives you the right to say such a thing to anyone..let alone a patient entrusted to your care.

This is also something that would make people reconsider retiring to the community if they can expect this kind of behavior directed towards themselves or there loved ones.

I normally dont support Mr Dray's remarks but in this case I can commend him for speaking out as I have also heard the same claims myself from people receiving care at the hospital. It doesnt mean every nurse is being unprofessional by any means but even one case is cause for concern when it involves ridiculing someone who has or potentially could have cancer.