PORT ALICE, B.C. – Changes will still come to the Port Alice Health Centre, but they’re not set in stone.

This is according to the Port Alice Health Forum Society chairperson Valerie Eyford.

Eyford said after presentations from Island Health and the BC Ambulance Service, residents were able to make their voices heard.

Eyford has said that one of the concerns the health forum had was the amount of time a patient can receive emergency services should the Health Centre lose its emergency care unit.

“The people of Port Alice just don’t think it’s acceptable to lose our emergency room. We know we’re not a hospital, but we want our medical personnel to have the ability to get us stabilized if we’re in crisis so we can be safely transferred to a larger centre,” she said.

She added that it was a good night, and that it was well-attended.

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Dermot Kelly, executive director for Geography 1, said Island Health was satisfied with the dialogue and interaction that happened during the community meeting.

“It was very positive to see so many members of the Port Alice community to really come out and to have a unified voice and sharing their concerns about the proposed changes being put forward with regards to the Port Alice Health Centre,” Kelly said.

“It was really powerful to hear the stories of the community being able to share those stories and the impact from their perspective.”

Kelly said as a result of the meeting, Island Health and Port Alice’s mayor and council will have further talks before the changes go through. He added that they will take the information from the meeting into consideration.

“We would be following up with next steps with the mayor and council,” he said.

Kelly added that they want to keep the conversation with residents.

“What does community engagement look like? How could the community be more involved? We really want to make sure that we’re posing those questions back to the community so we can hear from them what that would look like for them.”