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2 new doctors, renovations prescribed for North Island’s health-care crisis

Nurse staffing has also been increased in the region, although numbers remain too low for ER
Port Hardy mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt gave an update on the North Island’s health-care crisis during the March 26 district council meeting. (Supplied photo)

Is help finally on the way for the health care crisis on the North Island?

Port Hardy mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt said Island Health hospitals in Port Hardy and Port McNeill will be getting renovations with the Stantec contracting firm overseeing the work, and “we have two new physicians who have started working in Port Hardy with Island Health [and] are starting to work in the ER.”

“New RN’s have been hired, they’re training the RN’s in emergency, and the LPN positions are filled up at Eagle Ridge.”

Corbett-Labatt said while this is good news, unfortunately there’s “still not enough trained RN’s to get our ER open, but every meeting I say ‘we want it 24/7, we want it 24/7.’”

She added that at the upcoming Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities meeting in Victoria, Port McNeill mayor James Furney and Alert Bay mayor Dennis Buchanan will be joining her to talk with Island Health and “lobby hard for our communities.”

“People have asked me why is Port McNeill [hospital] the one that’s open 24/7 and why isn’t Port Hardy,” she said, stating that while Port Hardy has a bigger population, “I want to remind people Alert Bay still isn’t open 24/7, so Port McNeill is kind of the central one.”

She added if someone is evacuated from Alert Bay they’re sent to the Port McNeill hospital before anywhere else.

READ ALSO: North Island First Nations plead for help tackling mental health crisis

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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