Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Petition push continues for Terrace's Mills Memorial Hospital

Imagine the Future! 

That's the call from advocates for a trauma centre for the Terrace region, as the push from a number of communities for a replacement for the Mills Memorial Hospital continues to gain momentum.

As we noted in December, the quest for not only a new facility, but expanded services for the Northwest hospital began to get rolling with an online petition, one that is now but 169 signatures away from the goal of 1,000 names

The campaign to add names to that petition and further make the case for the project moved forward last week with the introduction of a pamphlet campaign, with households across the region receiving the background to some of the key points for those looking to get the attention of the provincial government.

The key areas that the Trauma Centre advocates are using to further the discussion include:

Terrace is the regional Centre for Health Care and services need to be closer to the population base.

Designation as a Trauma Centre could reduce travel requirements for many in the region

With Industrial development taking place in the Northwest, there is a higher risk for industrial accidents, making for the need for a Trauma Centre.

The designation of Terrace with Trauma 3 accreditation would mean more emergency situations could be dealt with in Terrace, without costly transfers to the lower mainland.

A regional hospital would provide team environment that today's health professionals look for. Satellite offices can stem out into surrounding communities and increase the quality and quantity of medical services available to all.

Should you not have noticed the information sheet last week, you can review it below (click to expand).

As well as a review of the elements that a Trauma 3 designation for Mills Memorial would deliver, the pamphlet features a list of those communities signing on for the bid. With support noted from the North Coast Regional District, though it is also interesting to note that neither the District of Port Edward or City of Prince Rupert were featured in the visual display from the information pamphlet.

Both municipalities do have a tough line to walk in this particular push from the Terrace region, while they are surely in favour of improved health care in the Northwest and won't want to be seen opposing any upgrade for Mills Memorial and services for our neighbours to the east, there are local concerns to weigh when it comes to how the province delivers health care to the Northwest.

As the discussion related to Mills Memorial moves forward, the local officials from the North Coast communities will want to make clear to the provincial government of their desire to not only protect the current level of service at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, but put forward their own thoughts on how services should be expanded here.

The Terrace region is not the only one expecting to see industrial development, with a number of major industrial projects planned for the Prince Rupert region.

Our local politicians and community leaders, as well as current MLA Jennifer Rice will want to be quick to advocate for the local health care facility, providing for a clear message that any improvement or upgrade in status for Mills Memorial, doesn't come at the expense of health care options on the North Coast.

Prince Rupert Hospital serves not only
the city but a number of communities
on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii
Like Mills Memorial in Terrace, Prince Rupert Regional Hospital is also a key element for health care in our region, serving a number of communities on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii.

The focus from the North Coast should be one that ensures that those communities continue to have access to their health care needs here, and that service at PRRH remains part of any discussion when it comes to how the province approaches the issue for the best outcome for all in the Northwest.

The theme of health care should also be one of the key topics for those seeking our votes in the provincial election this May.

With both the NDP and the Liberals about to launch their campaigns for the 2017 vote, North Coast residents will want to make sure all candidates for the North Coast make clear what vision they have for Health Care in the riding and to guard against any possible shift in how those services are delivered across the region.

More items related to health care can be found on our archive page.

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