Thoughts on community consultation

The list of weaknesses was extensive and gave an opportunity to vent frustrations.

Dear Editor:

I was a participant at the workshop on the Community Healthcare Consultation held on Tuesday, Jan. 29. It turned out to be an academic exercise. The goal of the workshop was “to get a descriptive account of what is happening in Princeton, not necessarily to solve problems”. Participants were divided into 4 groups; each group were to give input on 3 topics, the strengths, the weaknesses, and innovations of Princeton’s Healthcare.

Remarkably, many existing strengths were cited, such as dedicated medical staff, new services (extra counselling services), good lab facilities, good palliative care, etc. The list of weaknesses was extensive and gave an opportunity to vent frustrations. Interesting comments were made regarding innovations, including fixed salaries for doctors, better technological equipment for respondents to 911 calls, & others items.

The groups then reconvened as a whole and each group reported its findings. A list was compiled, and participants were asked to vote on items on the list that they felt were most important. At a quick glance, 24/7 ER and need for doctors received the most votes, no surprise here.

What did this workshop produce? Dr. Pesut and her team will be writing a report on their findings. The community will have a written record of what transpired, but most importantly the community has reiterated what it needs and wants, 24/7 ER and doctors! Is anyone listening?

Mary Masiel, Princeton