Mayor Teunis Westbroek will be speaking with with the Regional District of Nanaimo and City of Parksville representatives about the possibility of bridge funding to help out the Perfect Storm Group (PSG).
Included in Monday’s (Jan. 8) agenda package was a request from PSG for funding for one year to facilitate the success of its mandate, which is to increase the amount of family physicians in the region. Westbroek said the money would be for a part-time co-ordinator.
While council agreed there is a need for doctors in the area, some said they weren’t sure it was the town’s responsibility.
“The concept of property tax to take on a responsibility that is a provincial responsibility — which is health care — I think is inappropriate,” said Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer. “If the province wishes to hand over responsibility for some facets of medical care or health care then I would expect that funding to the town to compensate us for that would be coming along with that.”
Westbroek said at the UBCM in 2017 local municipalities met with Minister of Health Adrian Dix about the shortage of health-care professionals in the region.
“I think it’s our job to advocate. It bothers me that we don’t see more action after that meeting with the minister and his staff.,” said Westbroek.
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Westbroek said there is “room for more” health-care facilities on that land.
“But to continue to lobby the province takes time and a lot of effort. A lot of volunteers I can think of in this group… they’ve left, they’ve burned out,” Westbroek said.
“We can just stand back and do nothing or try to harness the energy that’s there and have a co-ordinator make it effective.”