Sooke is the only major community in Greater Victoria without a hospital or health-care facility – something Mayor Maja Taithopes to change.
The Sooke Region Primary Health Care Services Working Group, chaired by Tait, envisages a health-care facility.
“A small hospital in a sense… our health-care infrastructure is inadequate for our current and growing needs,” Tait said,adding there’s an opportunity now to start looking to build a facility.
“The work has been underway for many years, but for me, it’s time to enact something.”
The idea is to continue bringing key stakeholders together to nurse a project to the forefront – one building that would allowphysicians to work in.
“Then, as things evolve, we’ll allow the needs to have other health-care professionals join in, whether it’s the home supportinitiatives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, all those services in one area,” Tait said, adding it would include a state-of-the-art X-ray service.
The idea of a community hospital in Sooke is nothing new. A building idea first appeared in 2005, and now Tait and herhealth team are trying to locate those plans to get the ball rolling again.
One of the reasons why such a facility wasn’t considered in Sooke for so long is its relative proximity to Victoria GeneralHospital, said Clay Barber, executive director for Divisions of Family Practice
Only problem is, for many Sooke residents, it’s simply not close enough.
“When one of the physicians orders a test, whether it’s diagnostic imaging or a lab, we know that the patients have to travel,”Barber said. “There’s opportunities for the individuals to drive themselves, or their family to drive them. The reality is that it’snot always possible from a road condition point of view.”
In the case of building a community hospital or health care centre in Sooke, Barber is supportive, but highlighted theimportance of doing it right.
“My only concern with any facilities that are built, is that they’re done with the physicians and the patients at the table as partof the planning… if not done properly, it might be detrimental to primary care in the community.”
Regardless of what the ultimate health care infrastructure plan for Sooke is, it’s important to start now, Tait said.