REPORTING · 5th October 2010
Shortly after Eurocan announced it’s closure in 2009, Northern Health held a meeting to discuss the Primary Health Care Model. The meeting did not go according to plan as the small room which had been booked flooded full of Kitimat residents ready to talk about the shortcomings in and around Kitimat General Hospital. At the end of the meeting, a follow-up meeting was discussed.
While that follow up meeting is still yet to happen, smaller meetings where NHA could discuss the Primary Health Care Model have taken place during July. Jonathon Cooper, Site Manager for Kitimat General Hospital discussed these meetings at the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group meeting in early September.
“In July, we held 7 meetings with members of the community we invited. What we tried to do was invite a cross section of the community and voices we hadn’t heard before. Also people representing community organizations such as the hospice society and tried to make it as wide as possible to look at all the aspects of health care and primary health care and generate discussion. Also receive feedback from people about their expectations and their satisfaction with services in the community and what we can look at differently,” said Cooper
The groups invited to these meetings included: Dentists, families, retired people, the Chamber of Commerce and religious groups. Some of the issues focused on were; healthy living, recreation and what services does primary health care consist of. 100 people were invited, they met with 58.
“Primary Health Care is a community issue and Kitimat wanted to discuss the hospital and their worries about health services. Yes we did all that. We took things away from that meeting and responded to and addressed the issues which were raised by staff. Members of the public, we followed up independently with some of those people as well and had discussions with them,” said Cooper.
However, the question remains as to which health care services are important to communities. Cooper explained the components of primary Health Care are broken down into the services and who provides them in both the Public Health Care system and the private practices.
Cooper went through the different topics relating to Primary Health Care. He explained people were pretty happy with the Health Care Services available but there is confusion on how to access health care programs, what the programs do and who to contact.
The other thing the hospital did with this exercise was to make contacts in the community and create networks of communication.
“We offered consultation to all to make it as wide as possible. Following this, we got some good feedback. We have got some action items to implement. But we don’t see this as we have one consultation and it all stops. We see this as an on going process. Primary Health Care is going to be an important component of the healthcare of the future. It should be a growing element internationally as well. We need to make sure that we look at and consult and we look at individual ideas on how to improve things, so we’ve started the journey, it will continue,” concluded Cooper.
The meeting discussed the problem of people not knowing what services are available at the hospital. Rob Goffinet, chair of KHAG suggested the group tour the hospital and learn about what the various rooms are for and which services are supplied.
The next KHAG meeting is on Saturday morning, October 16th at the Chalet. We at the Kitimat Daily have been told one of the topics is the removal of the ultrasound from the Hospital.