|A community petition towards concerns over the decline of|
health services at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital is on
its way to the Minister of Health
The members of Prince Rupert City Council brought back a petition related to health care concerns the city first received in May for consideration on Monday night, the next step in the process of forwarding the document to the Provincial Health Minister and Northern Health officials.
The topic was a late addition as Notice of Motion to the Council Agenda for Monday evening and Mayor Lee Brain provided for a short overview of the petition and what the steps for it are next.
"This was from the petition that was presented last meeting around the health care issues here in the community and community residents petitioning that we want certain services stay in Prince Rupert and that we need to send this off directly to the Minister of Health Adrian Dix"
Towards discussion, Councillor Barry Cunningham who has raised health care concerns often in the Council chamber took the lead in the discussion of the issue.
"You know some people are nervous about this petition and that and to me it's a grass root petition ... showing the Minister of Health as well as Northern Health that the people of Prince Rupert are concerned about losing services.
Over the last fifteen, twenty years there's been a lot of services either degraded or lost totally in our hospital, little by little and now with the Mills Memorial trauma 3 hospital being built, I think a lot of people are a little nervous.
Northern Health has made some commitments and then they've changed them and things like that.
So uh, I think we have to get some definite answers from the Minister of health as well as Northern health about exactly what's going to happen"
The councillor also noted of the distance to Terrace and how the Prince Rupert facility serves as a regional facility and how some of the regional industrial partners are concerned about the situation.
"We have the Regional Hospital for the North Coast, you know the other hospital is 150 kilometres inland it's difficult to get there in certain times of the year and things like that. So this a concern of the residents of Prince Rupert and it's a very grass roots ... Margaret Lorette started this, ( I ) had nothing to do with it, although I encouraged it and that.
But I really think that its important that we get the message across that the people of Prince Rupert definitely need medical facilities of a good quality to service the whole region and with the growing demand on our industrial base and that some of our industrial partners are also nervous about diminishing services.
So it's something that we have to let Victoria know that we're serious about"
Mr. Cunningham was the only member to comment on the topic.
Council then voted to forward the petition and a letter of support to the Minister of Health, as well as other respective provincial representatives, though no timeline on that process was outlined on the night.
You can review the notes on the Petition when it was first delivered to Council from our story of June the 1st. 1,027 residents of the region signed the document before it was delivered to City Hall.
|Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau and MLA Adam Olsen|
are on a tour of BC to hear health care concerns with plans
to be in the NW in late July
City Council members may want to also prepare a presentation of the upcoming tour of the Green Party of BC, which is holding a month of community sessions across BC to hear concerns from community leaders about health care in the province.
They Greens have not firmed up their itinerary in the region yet, but as we noted on Monday they will be in the Northwest on July 25th and hopefully have plans to make a stop in Prince Rupert to hear from residents here on the challenges facing the community.
The City has yet to provide the video for the Council session to their YouTube Archive, once they have we will add that element below.
Update: The missing archive of Monday's session was added to the listings on the afternoon of Monday, June 20th.
The item above can be viewed at the 39 minute mark.
More notes on the Monday Council Session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline Feature.