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REPORTING · 14th September 2012
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Health Advocacy Group met on Saturday, September 8th at the Kitimat Public Library for their first meeting of September. There were two big issues on the table, the Ultrasound and Hospital Food.

Recently, the Ultrasound technician retired and the position is still vacant. There have been many problems with the food brought up at KHAG in the past by residents of the community. The recent addition is patients are receiving meals which have not been adequately heated.

“Ultrasound was more of the focus, updating the activities over the summer, bringing it into perspective that that was a retirement, quite understandable, and giving background as to the hope and the intent to try and get an interim agreement with the retiree to take a quick holiday and then come back to fill in and that wasn’t successful” said Goffinet.

KHAG will be working to make sure Kitimat keeps Ultrasound within the hospital. According to Goffinet, it is a full position which will be based in the hospital, although it could have duties backing up Terrace, although Goffinet stated this is no different then the previous ultrasound tech.

“Northern Health is actively recruiting, has multiple candidates responding but it is our understanding that they are predominantly off shore candidates, so there is a time requirement to get them squared away with their professional college in Canada, in BC, to get in and get certified or credentialed as well as immigration concerns,” said Goffinet.

He stated this is happening right now.

On the topic of food, Goffinet stated it was handed over to Mayor and Council, who are active members of the KHAG. They have met with Northern Health and sampled two meals, looked at how the meals were prepared and were briefed on how they were made by the Head of Food Services in Terrace.

They are trying to find out what the fundamental complaints are while trying to convince Northern Health there may be lapses in the “thermalizing” in some of the meals. They are also trying to find ways of getting fresh food and vegetables on site.

The first project is home made soup.

“That is something that Elizabeth MacDonald from the Food Share Program in Mountainview Square is actively working with the Activation Program which brings seniors who are not in Multilevel Care into contact and into activities within Multilevel Care,” said Goffinet.

MacDonald is bringing fresh fruit and vegetables into Multilevel care so the residents and the Activation Program can make freshly prepared soups.

Finally, all of the major issues which have come from the community to the KHAG table will be put into a report which will be presented by Council to Northern Health, the Minister of Health and the Leader of the Opposition when they meet with them at the UBCM in Victoria later this month.