Northern Health board meeting shares updates on new health care plan

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a regular Northern Health board meeting in Prince George on October 19, 2016, Northern Health and its partners highlighted new and improved services and resources undertaken by Northern Health and its partners to improve the delivery of health services.

The main improvement would be the arrival of MRI machines in Fort St. John, Terrance and a replacement machine at UHNBC in Prince George.

“We know in our expansive region that sometimes travel is required. Establishing MRIs to serve people in the northwest and northeast can reduce some of the travel burden,” states Dr. Charles Jago, Northern Health Board Chair. “This is a significant first step in enhanced medical imaging opportunities in our communities.”

The board also shared details of the visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Haida Gwaii, to the new hospital and health centre. They met with Northern Health physicians, health care workers, patients and their families.

Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre – Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll Naay is scheduled to begin operation in November. It will be the first facility in Northern Health to carry both an English and First Nations name.

There were also consultations that took place over the summer with the topic of ‘Growing up Healthy in Northern BC’. Those results were revealed at the board meeting as well.

There were two main approaches for listening to residents, Northern Health said. The first approach was community meetings that were held across the north, including open public sessions, stakeholder focus groups and youth groups. The second approach was an electronic process where residents were also asked to contribute ideas and select priorities through an online process, using Thoughtexchange for that approach.

There was a total of 874 participants. The suggestions from the participants were as follows:

• Focus on traditional First Nations and Aboriginal culture

• Increase supports for mental health and substance use issues for children and youth

• Increase access to existing recreation and culture activities

• Reducing use of technology (or use too young)

• Address poverty and related issues (food security well noted)

“Prioritizing child health is one way we are working to improve the current and future care
of northern B.C. residents,” said Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health President & CEO. “We are
grateful for the input of those people who live, work, learn and play in northern
communities as we work together to support living well and preventing disease and injury.”

 

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