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REPORTING · 19th May 2011
Walter McFarlane
Rob Goffinet, Chair of the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group reported back to KHAG on Saturday, May 14th about the meetings with NHA at the North Central Local Government Municipal Association (NCLGA).

“We were at this conference and we had a half an hour meeting with [NHA] and every opportunity we can meet with either the board or the chief officers, we take it and we were offered a meeting with them in Prince Rupert at the Municipal association,” said Goffinet.

He explained they brought the concerns of KHAG to the NHA. The multi level care beds are full and up to 25% of the Acute care beds are full because the people in them can not get into acute care. This stresses out the services in the hospital as there would be no room in the hospital for patients for surgery procedures. This was a big issue when KHAG formed 8 years ago.

Goffinet proposed long term options for studies and action to increase the number of multilevel care beds. The District of Kitimat has motions from past years which they offered. They also reminded them the community foundation was raising money for the hospital.

“Two or three days before we went to the convention, we finally received correspondence from [NHA] outlining more detail on the operating and capital budgets on NHA giving indication on how much money they are putting into the Kitimat General Hospital and in the future, how much they plan,” said Goffinet.

He explained without these figures, the groups in Kitimat, public and private, would be able to react to requests for building within Kitimat.

They also raised the recruitment and retention of medical professionals. KHAG augments NHA’s recruitment. They also mentioned there were two women within Kitimat who were put forward to join the NHA Board. Either would be advocating for NHA, not just for Kitimat, if appointed.

Goffinet added they complimented NHA on improving the staffing levels in Kitimat and recruitment was proceeding. Chemotherapy and Ultrasound were proceeding without complaints from the public.

“It just demonstrates the hospital is viable and is getting more and more of what the community has been advocating,” said Goffinet.

He added they used the Retire in Kitimat booklet to show why bringing specialists to the hospital as well as why developing multilevel care beds are important. He added the hospital was in the centre of this book as a selling point of Kitimat to seniors.