Caution in welcoming Health Region reorganization

Editorial

Tuesday, August 18 2015

Let’s be cautious in how we approach the new ‘local geographic focus’ of the Health Authority. (reported in August 11 Sounder)

It sounds great - matching up local volunteers and organizations (and their funding) with the health authority so that things can get done according to what the community perceives it to need. 

But the caution, as always has to be the case when dealing with an ever-shrinking governmental budget, is Gabriolans cannot be looked to for covering budgetary items which should be the responsibility of the province (by way of the Island Health).

This is not to say those who are running the reorganization, either on behalf of Island Health or Gabriola, have that kind of concept in mind. Far from it - those are the individuals trying to actually improve how monies are spent - if they do their jobs right, Gabriolans will get the best health care they can for their allotted provincial monies.

A look at the education system shows how more and more, the users (parents and children) are having to foot costs which should be covered by school districts with provincial dollars.

If the education system can be so casually stripped of dollars knowing parents will cover the difference - one does have to wonder how the health system could go the same way. 

A system where everything - from bed pans to tech upgrades - has a high cost. In last week’s article, Dr. Digney spoke of one of the end goals being to have regular community meetings and to have a local advisory committee taking feedback from  Gabriola to give to Island Health.

That’s great - and the group needs to have medical professionals as well as laypeople on it. The move from a centralized health region to a geographically-organized one where local can help prioritize is one which needs to happen.

But those organizing it will have to forgive anyone who is skeptical about if it will lead to positive change for the patients of Gabriola.

It’s not the program organizers we have a hard time trusting.

It’s the current ‘head’ of the BC Government and the rest of her cabinet that we’ve been given no reason to trust.

And they’re the ones with the credit cards.