OUR VIEW: Visit might provide IH with perspective

Interior Health (IH) needs to be made aware of the concerns of the residents of Grand Forks.

The decisions that the Interior Health Authority (IHA) make don’t always jive with what the people of the surrounding area want.

There has always been a lot of support for the Broadacres Care Facility on Carson Road but IHA has overlooked it in a request for proposals for 40 residential senior care beds last year – IHA eventually selected Golden Life Management for the facility and it will build Silver Kettle Village in Grand Forks.

Broadacres was not selected for nine temporary residential care beds – IHA decided that it would set up the temporary beds at Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks and according to numbers provided in a presentation to IHA at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention by Coun. Christine Thompson, Interior Health spent $65,000 of taxpayer money for temporary renovations at the hospital for the nine beds.

In her presentation, Thompson also said that meal preparation and laundry services were taken out of the community and a MedEvac helicopter service that was operating out of Grand Forks will no longer be used in our regional area.

As part of her UBCM presentation, Thompson said that she wanted to set up a meeting with IHA, hopefully with CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny and Board Chair Norman Embree, and the city councillor is hoping that the meeting can take place in November. In an email, Halpenny said that IHA had a good discussion with the city at the UBCM convention and recognized the importance of meeting with members from all of its communities.

Health care is a topic which people in this area are very passionate about, particularly senior health care.

At a meeting last May regarding Broadacres being passed over for the 40 beds, the Grand Forks & District Public Library was packed with concerned citizens and there is no doubt that when Interior Health schedules a meeting with the city and if the meeting is open to the public, it will be packed as well – there is a chance it could get heated too.

Maybe if Embree and Halpenny hear the concerns of the residents of Grand Forks firsthand, that will have an effect on decisions they make for the area.

– Grand Forks Gazette