UPDATE: CRD committee backs health-care facility for Sooke

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait has lobbied for years for proper health facilities here

Mayor Maja Tait has received the backing of at least two levels of government in a bid to for a new health-care facility in Sooke.

On Wednesday, the Capital Regional District’s hospitals and housing committee recommended the Capital Region Hospital District’s board, Island Health and the province support building a new facility in Sooke.

Hours before, the New Democrats issued a press release stating it would create urgent care centres across the province which would benefit Sooke and other smaller communities.

The Sooke Region does not have a hospital or an urgent-care treatment facility. There’s a small doctors clinic in the town core area.

“The problem can be found throughout the [Greater Victoria] Region, but for Sooke the difference is we’re divided by Highway 14,” Tait said.

“I would like to see something that would have a combination of primary and urgent care.”

Island Health provides a range of facilities in Sooke including community health programs, home care nursing, social workers and programs for mental health and substance abuse.

Tait envisions a primary and urgent care facility that would be housed in one building.

NDP leader and Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan has known to plight Sooke has faced over several years. He said the centres he’s touting can bring together doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians, pharmacists, mental health workers, midwives, occupational therapists and other health care providers to offer the right health services from “the right provider at the right time.”

“We know that prevention and early interventions are the best way to protect people’s health and bring down health-care costs,” Horgan said.

Liberal candidate Cathy Noel said her party has already built and is operating integrated health-care facilities in the province, in Victoria and Parksville.

“Basically, the NDP is renaming what we’re already doing,” Noel said.

“I think we’re all on the same page that this is the solution for Sooke.”

The CRD hospitals and housing committee recommendation go before the full CRD board on May 10.

Health-related capital projects are generally funded through cost sharing, which the Capital Regional Hospital District picks up 40 per cent of the cost and Island Health the rest, on behalf of the province. Operating costs are funded by Island Health.

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