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Councillor responds to editorial criticism re: acute health care

Deb McIntosh
By Deb McIntosh
February 6th, 2014

Dear editor:

In regard to your latest rant : Where are all the grownups looking after our health care?

I believe the City if Castlegar did the right thing. We entered into this regional information gathering because someone had to get the ball rolling.

We knew, of course, that there would be opposition, but that is no reason to delay asking the questions. We are are in a very difficult position, as are Trail and Nelson.

We owe it to everyone to think regionally, but when it means potentially losing your current services, it is hard not to be political. If we are not seen as fighting tooth-and-nail for services, we are raked over the coals by our constituents.

If we do not think regionally, we are small-minded and should get our collective asses kicked. Castlegar is aiming for a regional approach to ask all stakeholders to put our united voice forward to achieve better health care services for the entire region. The questions we asked were specifically tailored to avoid the issue of hospital sites (the current two-hospital model or one central facility) to minimize political discord, and we hired an experienced, independent consultant who is familiar with the issues to carry the survey out, rather than doing it ourselves, so we could gather information without bias.

If the current model is what IHA and provincial politicians say works, then we will work to enhance it. If a new model will work better, let’s get it done.

We’ve said all along that we’re open to a variety of possible solutions – the only option we don’t consider acceptable is the status quo.

Not asking the question was never an option for Castlegar. The City of Castlegar will continue to work in a collegial manner with our regional partners. As your a representative at the Hospital Board table I can assure you that Castlegar will not be throwing temper tantrums, but rather working towards better health care services for the entire region.

Sincerely,

Deb McIntosh

WKRHB Representative City of Castlegar

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