Health advisory council seeks input

David Thompson Health Advisory Council is preparing to meet Central Albertans where they live to find out what is good and bad about local health care.

David Thompson Health Advisory Council is preparing to meet Central Albertans where they live to find out what is good and bad about local health care.

The council wants to hold at least six community events in the next year, beginning in September, and make presentations before community groups to spread the word about the council.

“The health advisory council has been around for a while, but we started from scratch so a lot of work has been developmental. We want to get out there. We want to have opportunities to meet with communities and find out what is going well and what are some of the issues around health care,” said council chair Bruce Buruma at the public council meeting at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre on Wednesday.

He expects there will be some interesting conversations, for example in Sylvan Lake where there are doctors offices, but no medical facilities.

David Thompson is one of 12 councils representing different regions of the province that advise Alberta Health Services Board and give public the opportunity to provide feedback on the health care system.

Councils, which meet six times a year, replaced 59 community health councils that operated under nine regional health authorities prior to their amalgamation to become Alberta Health Services in 2009.

So far there has been three public presentations to David Thompson advisory council and members had a booth at the Health and Wellness Show at Westerner Park in April.

Buruma said people have concerns about issues like wait times for care and surgery. They want to know that health care services are there when they need them. But Central Albertans have also been telling the council that they really like the health care system.

“We need to take a look at what’s working well and be able to share those. We also want to share the concerns the community has, and share them with Alberta Health Services and the board to make sure they are responding to what those priorities are for Central Albertans.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com