Last Friday was very exciting here in Sooke. Both our MLA, Premier John Horgan and our Minister of Health, Adrian Dix were in town in response to Sooke’s need for more primary healthcare services.
They were hosted by members of the Primary Health Working Services Group that I have chaired since 2014. The membership includes local representatives as well as senior executives from Island Health and representatives from the South Island Division of Family Practice. The group had the opportunity to visit and meet with Sooke’s family physicians, public health nurses, and the Ayer Manor board and staff representatives.
The timing of this visit was not a coincidence. As your mayor, I have been actively lobbying to seek a solution for the more than 4,600 Sooke residents without a family doctor. For more than a year there has been a collaborative partnership between the District of Sooke, West Coast Family Medical Clinic, Island Health, and the South Island Division of Family Practice to address the shortfall in primary healthcare in Sooke and the western communities.
At the same time the provincial government is providing funding to recruit more primary healthcare providers to address the lack of access to primary healthcare across BC.
This visit offered an opportunity for frontline health providers to speak directly to the Premier and the Minister of Health and outline Sooke’s needs. I am confident there is now a shared understanding between all the necessary stakeholders of our needs and most importantly a shared vision to address it.