Recent History – 2001
Jan. 25, 2001, By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
About 25 people got a closer look at a draft three-year regional health plan when a public meeting was held Wednesday night.
Mandated by the Ministry of Health, the plan outlines the goals and objectives for health care for the entire Peace-Liard region of northeast B.C.
And although some of the plan is already being implemented, the remains a window of opportunity until the end of the month to make suggestions and comments.
Following a presentation by Lexie Gordon, who is responsible for drawing up the plan, concerns were raised over issues ranging from the way health care is governed to the need for more home support for seniors.
Public meetings have already been held in Fort Nelson and Fort St. John, while three more will be held this Saturday in Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Hudson’s Hope.
While there is still time to make changes, the draft plan outlines 22 goals and objectives under four priorities: improved health status of the population, maintenance and enhancement of the quality of services, improved partnerships, and appropriate utilization of services.
Care for seniors plays a prime role. The plan calls for measures such as adult daycare at the new Rotary Manor, increasing the availability of respite programs throughout the region, and increasing the affordability and availability of meals and transportation for the elderly.
During her presentation, Gordon noted that life expectancy in this region is about one-and-a-half years less than the average for the province. As well, a greater number of persons are dying from chronic lung disease, lung cancer and respiratory system diseases.
A study for the plan also found that tobacco use in the Peace Liard is the highest in the province, and has the highest percentage of children exposed to second-hand smoke.
To combat the problem, the report calls for development of a prevention program throughout the region, expansion and improvement of the tobacco reduction programs, and establishment of a rehabilitation program in the North Peace.
The plan also calls for measures to increase aboriginal access to health care, reduce teen pregnancy, and improve services for mental health clients.
Reaching such goals will be a challenge according to the report, in part because of the small population scattered over a large portion of the north. On the bright side, it was also found that Peace Liard mothers give birth to some of the healthiest babies in the province.
Copies of the report are available at the Peace Liard Community Health Services Society office at 1001-110th Ave., next to the hospital.