Castlegar Health Watch circulates survey
“How do you get to your health care appointments, including emergencies?”
Thanks to funding from Area I, that’s the question Castlegar & District Health Watch Society intends to ask in a survey which will be mailed out to every household in Castlegar, and Areas I and J in the second week of November.
Health-related services have been centralized in Trail, Nelson, and even Kelowna or Vancouver in the last several years. But some people have told Health Watch they have trouble getting to their appointments even in Castlegar. Further away, some people simply decide not to go for treatment because it’s too hard to get there or too expensive.
Health Watch wants to know what the are needs out there? Do factors such as bus timetables, age, mobility, income, health, family situations, distance, time of day, or even weather conditions have an impact on access to health care.
Can people get to appointments locally? Can they get to appointments in Vancouver or Kelowna?
In 2008, both BC Transit and Interior Health carried out separate ridership surveys. They surveyed only the existing ridership and because of the small sample size the results were either statistically unreliable or to be viewed with caution.
The Health Watch survey is being made available throughout the community and is asking residents to describe any transportation problems they may have getting to health services. A more detailed understanding of the problems can then provide a basis to consider beneficial improvements or changes.
BC Transit has encouraged the Health Watch survey and will consider the results as part of their current transportation review process.
Completed surveys can be dropped off at local doctor’s offices, Castlegar Health Centre (former hospital), Selkirk College Information Desk, the front desk at the Community Complex, Castlegar Library, Johnny’s Grocery, Pass Creek Storage, Blueberry Creek Community School, and Glade General Store.