PORT ALICE—Alison Mitchell, co-chair of the Mount Waddington Health System Stabilization Local Working Group, appeared in the delegation portion of the Port Alice Council meeting last week.
Mitchell presented VIHA’s response letter to the working group to the councillors and gave some background to the letter and updates on the progress made.
Mitchell explained that the working group was established following a series of ER closures in Port Hardy in 2011 due to physician shortages. She noted that the closures in Port Hardy impacted the other communities on the North Island, as patients traveled to other health facilities, overburdening the staff there.
“We quickly realized that our health system could implode,” said Mitchell.
The group established a series of goals and recommendations for the local health system focusing on stability, staffing levels, education and accessibility, and community involvement.
After Mitchell’s presentation, acting Mayor Scott Roberts referred to health care in Port Alice, asking if occupational injuries were taken into consideration when deciding the medical needs of a community.
While Port Alice is small in per capita terms, he pointed out, the ER there potentially has to deal with disproportionately high levels of serious injury.
“It’s the front line for the mill,” he said. “Bolstering that front line should be in the planning.”
Mitchell said she was personally unaware of any report that dealt specifically with visits in terms of work-related injury, but VIHA was aware of the issue. She explained that nurses in Port Alice already had specialty training and the possibility of further training was being considered to enable them to treat a wider variety of conditions.
The council thanked Mitchell for her presentation.
Administrator Madeline McDonald brought forward a late item to the agenda for council’s consideration.
Following an initial round of awards earlier this year, the Government of Canada is inviting a second round of nominations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, and 60,000 are to be handed out this year to Canadians to honor significant achievements and contributions.
With a deadline of December 31 on the horizon, council put forward two names for recommendation and resolved to return to the issue at the next meeting if additional suitable candidates arose.
A motion was approved to send a letter nominating Helen Haney for her work in the community, especially regarding her work in emergency care, and Gail Neely for her work with the recycling depot and the girl guides.
In her Admiinistrator’s report, McDonald sought and got approval for a construction zone to be declared along Marine Drive in December while aggregate was being transported from the site of the Rumble Beach Marina Project.
The designation allows off-road vehicles to be used for the transportation, a quicker and cheaper transport solution to alternative options.
Council heard that dredging was to begin Dec 3, and, with council’s approval, dump trucks would take the aggregate materials for stockpiling.
The motion was passed unopposed.
Council also granted McDonald’s request for the release of up to $1,000 for additional signs to adequately mark the construction zone on all feeder roads to Marine Drive.