The challenges facing healthcare in the North Okanagan are felt throughout Canada.
Healthcare stakeholders from the North-Okanagan Shuswap gathered in Vernon June 1 to share local perspectives on Canadian healthcare with MP Mel Arnold and the honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch, MP for Simcoe-Grey.
With Leitch preparing to introduce a bill in Parliament that strengthens the Canada Health Act, the meeting provided an opportunity to hear local experiences and gain input on the strengths and weaknesses of Canada’s medical system.
“I was very pleased with the turnout and the discussion here in Vernon today,” said Leitch. “What I heard was similar to what I have been hearing from medical professionals and patients across the country. There may be specific regional challenges, but overall people are saying that wait times are too long, there needs to be more accountability and that changes are needed to how we do healthcare in Canada.”
Arnold stated he was pleased to hear from various voices on the state of healthcare in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, and explore ways stakeholders can work together to develop strategies that improve the quality of care for local residents.
“Some challenges facing healthcare in the North Okanagan-Shuswap are common to communities across Canada while others are more specific to our region,” said Arnold. “Today’s meeting strengthened my understanding of the needs and priorities for healthcare in our region and I appreciate Leitch and all the local representatives for taking the time to participate in this important discussion.”
Attendees who joined in on the conversation included physicians, nurses, healthcare advocates and representatives from organizations such as the Shuswap Hospital Foundation and Shuswap Hospice.