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Replace Interior Health with local stakeholder board, Grand Forks councillor proposes

A Grand Forks councillor wants to see more local control of health care decisions.

Coun. Christine Thompson is proposing the B.C. health authorities, like Interior Health, be replaced with a local boards of directors.

“…appointed by the regional district boards of directors where regional and/or tertiary hospitals are located, and must include representation from doctors, nurses, lab technologists and administration,” she said.

In a report to council last week, Thompson notes the Interior Health Authority (IHA), oversees Grand Forks Boundary Hospital’s operations from its head office in Kelowna while the regional hospital for this area is in Trail.

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The IHA’s board of directors has nine members but doesn’t have any nurses, lab techs or administrative staff on it, she notes.

Thompson is collecting feedback with a plan to make presentations to regional districts about the health care reform idea.

She also shared some feedback already received from an unnamed person in the “health business” about the state of the current system.

“Regional and provincial representatives are out of touch with rural, local needs and the gaps in service and delivery are intrinsically out of touch regarding the needs of rural communities because they don’t reside or live in them. Stakeholders, nurses et cetera and patients’ experiences on the ground can not translate concerns of note and they are never held accountable of their poor policy and outcomes,” she read.

The “health business” stakeholder also notes a local board would be motivated “to deliver within their own community.”

While the regional districts have regional health boards, those only deal with capital projects and not operations, Thompson noted.

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