Councillor of the Town of Princeton Kim Maynard

Councillor of the Town of Princeton Kim Maynard

Princeton Health Care Action Framework discussion and update

On August 16, a meeting was held to update MLA Jackie Tegart on the progress of the Health Care Action Framework for Princeton and Area.

On August 16, a meeting was held to update MLA Jackie Tegart on the progress of the Health Care Action Framework for Princeton and Area.

Well over a year ago, Princeton’s emergency room closed four nights a week, as a result of doctor shortages.

This crisis brought Princeton to the forefront in news headlines and brought locals together in a fight for their healthcare.

Groups including Save Our Similkameen  (SOS) and the Seniors Citizens Branch #30 came forward in the community to fight for their hospital.

Another group was formed, called “Save Our Hospital Coalition.” A stakeholders table followed including members from all these groups as well as representatives of the Town of Princeton, Area H, industry, local doctors and the Interior Health Authority. All of these people worked countless hours trying to find a solution to resolve the crisis.

Eventually separation occurred within the collaboration—though everyone continues to strive for better health care solutions for Princeton and Area.

The Save Our Hospital Coalition re-branded itself, becoming “Support Our Health Care” SOHC—a group dedicated to improving healthcare in Princeton and are in support of a Health Care Action Framework for Princeton and Area.

A health coalition group consisting of leaders from the Town of Princeton, RDOS Area H director Hope, the Interior Health Authority, the local Division of Family Practice, and Princeton’s physicians and nurse practitioner, have worked together approximately six months to develop the framework.

The 18 page document was reviewed by all in attendance, including Jackie Tegart MLA Fraser Nicola, Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin and  Angelique Wood, Area G director, all who spoke openly, stating the framework was a very positive step.

MLA Tegart said, “We all know that health care can not carry on the way it has—I commend you.” She said she was “so impressed with the Princeton group.”

The Action Framework includes;  “a formation of the Princeton Health Care Steering Committee which will provide the mechanism for Interior Health, RDOS, the Town of Princeton, and Cascade Clinic to work together to support stable, sustainable and accessible health care in Princeton; identification of short and long term indicators that includes fully functional 24/7 Emergency Room coverage by October, 2013.”(Two highlights of it)

Public meetings regarding the Action Framework are planned for November. To view the full document please visit sohc.ca/model.pdf If you are in need of a hard copy to review, please visit the Town Hall or the Princeton Branch of the Okanagan Library.