Sooke mayor optimistic after health talks with province

Province understand ‘complexities of health-care in region, says Maja Tait

Mayor optimistic after health talks with province

Sooke took a giant step towards building a new primary health-care facility, Mayor Maja Tait said Friday after a meeting with Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“I left feeling very optimistic,” said Tait, who is seeking funding for improved health facilities and programs in Sooke.

“[The province] recognizes the growth. They understand the complexities and the need of our community: young families, seniors, and that the highway is a challenge.”

Dix committed the province to a seat on the Sooke Region Primary Health-Care Working Group,which could speed up health initiatives in the region.

The Sooke Region spans from East Sooke to Port Renfrew. a distance of about 95 kilometres, and has no hospital or urgent care clinic.

Tait, who has called the lack of health-care facilities in Sooke a crisis, said more than 4,000 Sooke Region residents are without a family doctor.

RELATED: Sooke mayor pitches for health-care facility

While the community is too close to Victoria to be classified as rural, it’s geographically isolated. The 30-kilometre trip to the nearest hospital in View Royal by winding Highway 14 takes at least 45 minutes by car.

As chair of the Sooke Region Primary Health-Care Working Group, Tait has been working with stakeholders from across the region to advocate for a local primary care home facility.

The facility would create space for more family physicians, allow for urgent care treatment with extended operating hours, and give Sooke residents improved access to medical services.

RELATED: CRD committee backs health-care facility for Sooke

The Sooke Region Primary Health-Care Working Group has gained traction recently, garnering the support of the Capital Regional District hospitals and housing committee and CRD board. The working groups also has representation from local doctors and the South Island Division of Family Practice.

The only groups missing were the Ministry of Health and Island Health.

“It’s a big step forward. We need the province at the table. We can’t solve this without them,” Tait said.

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