The Sooke Region Health Summit is May 28.

Summit tackles lack of health services

First-ever Sooke Region Health Summit on Saturday (May 28).

The future of health services comes under close examination Saturday (May 28) at the Sooke Region Health Summit.

The event is open to the public and residents and community groups from East Sooke to Port Renfrew are encouraged to participate with views on how to improve the region’s health and well-being through local initiatives.

“We would like to find out where the [health service] gaps are and where we need to focus from an advocacy perspective and who we can continue to dialogue with,” said Mayor Maja Tait, who chairs the Primary Health Care Services Working Group which is hosting the event.

“Too often there is just an expectation for our residents to go to the West Shore for medical needs, and that has negative implications for our area.”

Guest speaker for the three-hour event is Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick.

The health summit will be broken into four rotating roundtable discussions centering on a healthy community, helping ourselves, medical services and infrastructure and community advocacy.

There are many major concerns on health services in the region, including the lack of adequate X-ray facilities, prenatal and postpartum services, youth mental health, seniors’ access to health care, physician recruitment, Ayre Manor expansion and the need for ongoing alternative care – physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists, said Tait.

The health summit runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sooke Community Hall.