PORT ALICE, B.C. – Changes are coming to Port Alice’s health centre.
The process, according to Island Health’s vice-president of clinical service delivery Elin Bjarnason, is moving along smoothly.
Bjarnason said during Thursday’s public forum that she has been in talks with the village’s mayor, council members, as well as members of the Port Alice Health Forum.
“We came to some agreement on how to move forward. I want to respect that process with them, because I want to work with them on what we agreed on but I think we’re on the right path,” Bjarnason said.
She said that some of the changes include making investments on how to support the village’s health centre after one of the advanced nurse practitioners retired.
“The issue was how do we move forward? There’s been a lot of changes in Port Alice, in the reduction in the population and it’s also very hard with a small team to maintain a consistent service seven days a week.”
Bjarnason said that Island Health has invested in more home support, which means that Port Alice residents will have home support seven days a week. She said that part of the plan is to add an adult day program space, as well as a social worker in the community.
“It is a change… but we’re really trying to support the community in their primary healthcare needs.”
She added that the village will still have a health and urgent care centre, which was one of the main issues residents were concerned about.
Bjarnason said that Island Health, members of the village council and the health forum are now working on how after-hours calls and weekend hours will work.
She said that Port Alice continues to be served by the BC Ambulance Services 24/7, and that Island Health is working closely with BCAS to ensure their services are sustainable.
“I feel – and I’m hopeful – that we’re on the right path.”