Thursday, February 25, 2021

Councillor Cunnigham's retirement wishes for Doctor Pienaar, reflect community's concerns over potential health service erosion in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert Doctor Mairus Pienaar has
announced his retirement for  the end of May 

(photo from NH)

Councillor Barry Cunningham marked a local announcement of some note this week, passing on his best wishes to Doctor Marius Pienaar who has announced his plans for retirement later this Spring.

"Thanking Doctor Pienaar for all of his service and dedication to the community, not only in Prince Rupert but in the surrounding areas,  hoping he's looking forward to his retirement. 

He's always been a Big Rupert booster and I'm hoping Northern Health will recognize that that position has historically been in Prince Rupert and I know there's a search going on right now for a replacement, 

And I'm hoping that replacement remains in Prince Rupert at our regional hospital so he can continue to serve not only our region, up and down the Coast and Haida Gwaii"

The long serving OBGYN for the region announced his plans to step aside from his medical practice in May of this year. Posting his notice of Farewell earlier this month to his Facebook page.

Towards the search for a replacement as Councillor Cunningham observed, Northern Health is currenlty seeking someone for the post, though few details have been shared by the Health Authority as of yet towards a timeline.

The councillor's comments related to his hopes that the position remains Prince Rupert based are valid concerns, that as plans continue to evolve towards a level three trauma centre for the Terrace area and the worries locally that it may be the large lure to take specialists and key services down the highway.

Staffing positions in Prince Rupert appears to be somewhat of a challenge with the Northern Health Career Opportunities website page currently listing 59 jobs for the city, ranging from nursing to lab work, as well as social work and cleaning and housekeeping.

The large volume of jobs for the most part say the are Open until Filled.

Councillor Cunningham has raised concerns over the potential for erosion of health care jobs in Prince Rupert before, most recently as the plans for the new Health Care facility in Terrace began to make some progress.

We outlined some of his previous comments on health care as part of some notes he relayed in November of 2020.

Should Council wish to be a bit proactive in their concerns over Health Care, they may wish to find some online process of bringing Northern Health officials together with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice and area residents to hear more of the issues related to Health Care that many in Prince Rupert may have.

Some kind of Health Care Town Hall for the region to explore the issues fully and to seek out some answers from Health Care and Ministry of Health officials.

You can review Councillor Cunningham's tribute to the doctor and concerns for health care in the region from the City's Video Archive, starting at the 60 minute mark of the Monday session.

For more notes on Monday's Council Session see our Council Timeline feature here.

Further items of interest on Health can be explored from our Health Care archive page.

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