Courtenay-Alberni MP wants to take seniors' health feedback to Ottawa

Gord Johns in the News

Source: PQB News, by John Harding

MP Gord Johns wants to hear from people in this region about seniors' health issues and he pledges to take those comments to the federal government.

Johns is hosting a town hall meeting on seniors' health on Monday, Nov. 7 from 2-4 p.m. at the Community Hall in Qualicum Beach (at the corner of Memorial Drive and Veterans Way). You can attend the meeting and provide your comments or view it and contribute live through Johns' Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GordJohnsMP).

The health accord between the federal government and the provinces is expiring and Johns said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals need to know where and how health-care dollars should be spent. He acknowledges there have been many similar discussions and submissions to various federal governments in the past, but he insists this is different.

"We haven't done it with the MP sitting down with these local groups, putting together their comments and making sure these voices are heard in Ottawa," said Johns (NDP, Courtenay-Alberni).

"We need to bring them (the Liberals) that feedback."

Johns said this feedback is especially important coming from his riding, which includes Qualicum Beach, with the highest median age of residents in the country.

"We know additional resources will be required," he said. "They should be targeted to areas like ours. We need to put pressure on the government."

Johns said there are ways other than tax increases to provide more money for resources in regions like Parksville Qualicum Beach. Home care, for example, is a lot less costly than institutional care, he said.

"One-third of people with dementia are in acute care beds costing $850 a day," said Johns.

"We know we are wasting money."

Here's a list of the speakers/participants in the town hall meeting on Nov. 7, with explanatory/introductory information as provided by a member of MP Johns' staff:

• Tom Davies — spokesperson for the Federation of Oceanside Residents Associations (FORA), which played a major role in the development of the Oceanside Health Centre and continues to advocate for improved health services for the Oceanside area.

• James Dimmick — a local physician, retired from practice, currently an active community health advocate and member of FORA.

• Marlys Diamond — a well-known community activist, member of FORA and numerous other health and social community-based organizations and groups.

• Betty Tate — a member of the Comox Valley Network of Association of Registered Nurses of B.C., a progressive organization of nurses, actively advocating for improved health care for all.

• Kim Slater — chair of the Vancouver Island Association of Family Councils, supporting and advocating for self-determining, democratic bodies composed of friends, family members or representatives of individuals in residential care.

• Balfour Morris — a registered nurse and member of the Integrated Health Services Team of the Oceanside Health Centre, with 30 years nursing experience, including care for seniors living with dementia.

• Cheryl Rickley — manager, Oceanside Health Centre.

• Dr. Robin Saunders — member of the board of directors of the Canadian Medical Association and family physician, in Sooke.

• Anna Murphy-Dow — advisor, political engagement, Canadian Medical Association.