MT. WADDINGTON – The Mt. Waddington Local Working Group established last Fall to develop a community-led plan to strengthen and stabilize health services in Mt. Waddington presented its report and recommendations this week to senior leaders with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
“VIHA welcomes the Local Working Group’s (LWG) report and recommendations and we are committed to supporting accessible and sustainable health care services on the North Island, recognizing that additional measures are urgently needed in these more rural and remote areas,” said Dr. Bob Burns, Executive Medical Director, Population and Community Health. “Members of the LWG put in a tremendous amount of time and effort over the past six months working on this report and we thank them for their commitment and hard work.”
VIHA’s senior leaders will further review the report and its recommendations. VIHA acknowledges the need to move forward urgently with measures to support services and care in the community, and will share decisions as quickly as possible with the LWG, residents, First Nations, local governments and stakeholders on the steps that will be taken to further strengthen Mt. Waddington health services.
VIHA recognizes that there is additional work to be done to achieve consistent health care services for residents of Mt. Waddington beyond the collaborative accomplishments to date which include:
• Recruitment of a new physician who will begin practicing in Port Hardy this July and a new physician in Port McNeill who will arrive later this year.
• An Aboriginal Health Nurse has been recruited and is providing services at hospitals in Port Hardy and Port McNeill.
• A full-time social worker has been recruited and is now providing services at the three Mt. Waddington acute care sites.
• Admitting clerk coverage has been increased at the Port Hardy and Port McNeill hospital sites.
• In mid April, two new nurse practitioner positions for Port Hardy were posted on the VIHA website. We anticipate these positions will be filled in the near future. The two new positions are in addition to the two NPs already providing primary health care services in the community.
The LWG’s report and recommendations and information on the LWG, including Terms of Reference, membership and meeting agendas and minutes and a fact sheet on goals and accomplishments to date, can be viewed on the VIHA website, http://www.viha.ca/about_viha/community/mt_waddington.htm