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2018 Elections – Candidates Perspectives on Health

    Editorial & Opinions, Election Candidates    October 13, 2018

In the lead up to Election Day on October 20th, 2018, the Community Alliance will post answers from candidates to crucial questions. Today, we focus on health.

Question: How would you support the proposed Salt Spring Community Health Centre so that it is completed in a timely and effective manner?

Sabrina Ali (candidate for Islands Trustee):

The Salt Spring Community Health Center is a worthy initiative. I would do whatever I could to promote community wide access to primary health care services. I would be pleased to continue to work with Community Services on Salt Spring Island and the Community Health Center under their Intermediary Agreement.

I support any initiative that will provide holistic health care to our community, particularly to vulnerable populations, especially bearing in mind that statistically 2500-3500 residents of our island are without a family doctor. This initiative would take pressure off emergency room doctors and staff.

It is vital to get this moving to support the health of our entire community.

Kylie Coates (candidate for Islands Trustee):

Working with Lady Minto Hospital I would ask that the Old bottom examining rooms be turned into a walk in clinic

Also opening a auxiliary clinic in Fulford this clinic would take pressure off Lady Minto Hospital emergency room

And I’m hoping this two walk in clinics would work with the hospital

Peter Grove (candidate for Islands Trustee):

The health care centre is in its very early stages of development. It needs a business plan before anything else can happen. I certainly support the idea and believe it could be extremely beneficial to our community. If it does move ahead i would hope to play a part.

Gary Holman (candidate for CRD Director):

CRD funding, ideally in partnership with fundraising by the Community Health Centre Society and other agencies, could assist with a needs and feasibility assessment that would identify gaps in health care services. The needs assessment would involve consultations with the Ministry of Health, Island Health, the Division of Rural Practice, and local health professionals. The feasibility assessment could identify possible locations, nature and scale of facilities, suitable and interested health professionals, and estimated capital and operating costs, all of which would support the development of a business plan.

With a business plan in place, the next step would be to advocate for regional and senior government funding to establish and operate the facility. While grant funding is ideal (including from the CRD hospital district function which I secured as CRD Director for the upgrading of Lady Minto), modest CRD tax support (subject to referendum) may play a role in establishing a health centre. As former MLA, many of my former Opposition colleagues are now Ministers of the Crown. I also have a good relationship with our local MLA and as former CRD Director, with many current and hopeful CRD Board members

Howard Holzapfel (candidate for Islands Trustee):

This is basically an Islands Health issue and I’m aware of shortfalls in health delivery particularly in areas of mental health. I support any plan that can improve our health services on the island. I have experienced excellent care for physical ills.

Laura Patrick (candidate for Islands Trustee):

I recognize and support the work of the Salt Spring Community Health Society. Recently, I attended their discussion in September 2018 where Peter McKenna, CEO of Rideau Community Health Services presented. Peter shared a story about how community health services evolved and expanded within the Rideau community. I am committed to supporting the Salt Spring Community Health Society’s efforts to understand our islander’s needs and to develop a proposal for Community Health services. As Local Trustee, I will work with this society and other community groups interested in creating a Community Health Centre to conduct community visioning and engagement, and to find appropriate land for such an endeavour.

Robin Williams (candidate for CRD Director):

I am currently one of fifty members of the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation. As such I am aware of both the SSI Community Health Centre and the proposed Emergency Room expansion. Currently Salt Spring provides $917,308 dollars or 13.7% of our CRD budget to Victoria towards the Hospital District Victoria. We need to access this fund to support the two expansions. Further I will lobby for a seat on the Board of Island Health (VIHA) for Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands. Getting these two facilities build is all about funding and I will go to work at the CRD Board and provincial level for this.

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