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Residents association needs help identifying health gaps in West Kelowna

Forty-six West Kelowna residents have told their stories and shared their frustration with health care services in West Kelowna since an initial call for submissions was put out last month.

But the West Kelowna Residents Association knows there are many more people than that who want to see change.

Last month, the WKRA asked residents to help identify gaps and problems with existing health care services on the Westside. The residents association has agreed to gather the feedback on behalf of Joanne Konnert, the consultant hired by the District of West Kelowna to prepare a report on the proposed Westside health facility.

"I think Ms. Konnert is probably expecting a larger number," said WKRA director Ron Green.

"At the last public meeting we had on the subject, we had 245 people there."

Green said the responses so far have given good information, but the WKRA is looking for more submissions that explain how health services should be improved to meet basic needs on the Westside.

According to Green, the three biggest issues identified so far are laboratory service, radiology service, and transport. A few submissions also commented on ambulance response times.

The input will be used by Konnert in her report to West Kelowna council this December.

"These submissions are going to support the need for a centre," said Green.

"If you look at it geographically, the first thing you look at is we're only a 25 minute drive away from KGH. So why do we need a centre? The problem is the bridge."

Green noted one bad accident could block the only convenient road that links West Kelowna to Kelowna.

Health services in West Kelowna is one of about 10 issues that the WKRA is currently focused on.

Green said WKRA's overall goal to improve health care is "to get an urgent care centre that operates on reasonably accessible hours, seven days a week."

To provide personal stories, concerns or feedback regarding health care in West Kelowna, visit wkra.ca or e-mail ucc@wkra.ca.

Responses are being accepted until Nov. 30.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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