South Peace MLA Mike Bernier has been meeting with local physicians who are working to ensure the area has supports in the South Peace to meet the health needs of communities. Bernier is in the midst of asking area municipalities for letters of support on the matter.
“The South Peace is trying to create a “Division of Practice”, and the way I understand it, this would allow the Hospital Chief of Staff, in partnership with other medical professionals around the region in other health facilities to have more local decision-making and have access to a separate level of funding as a group,” says Bernier.
He adds this would help them locally to determine some of the resources they can share in the South Peace allowing opportunities for some patients to stay in either Chetwynd or Tumbler Ridge more often rather than being transferred to the larger hospital in Dawson Creek, which in turn could free up beds for others.
“We do have primary care unit planning but with this change that is being asked for, there is a feeling this could also go a long way in helping recruit more physicians to the area. I have confirmed that Northern Health supports this initiative, but the College of Physicians and Ministry of Health have yet to approve the request after 5 years of being asked,” he says.