Fort St. John activists press MLA to stand up for northern communities

After meeting with their local MLA Richard Neufeld, members of the Fort St. John Hospital Local have written him a lengthy list of their mounting concerns relating to how cutbacks and the Northern Health Authority’s privatization plans will impact health care facilities and communities.

Citing the loss of jobs, intermediate care home closures, food services changes and cutbacks, members urged Neufeld to attend the NHA’s May board meeting to familiarize himself with the issues they are facing and their effect on northern communities.

Activists told Neufeld that his government was ignoring the years of dedicated service that health care workers, the majority of whom are women, have put into their communities and what it will mean to lose that skilled and experienced workforce.

“At the moment there are 110 to 115 HEU members employed at the Fort St. John hospital,” they wrote. “This equals approximately 1000 years of experience at this facility alone.”

Neufeld was invited to accompany health care workers on a tour of the hospital where he can see their work, and the pressures they are working under, first hand. In the meantime, they told him it is time for “your government to come to the table with HEU, stop the privatization and contracting out immediately and discuss with us alternative viable solutions to the pressures of delivering health care services.”