Health committee hopes to hold services together

Agassiz health care could lose out from Fraser Health restructuring, says mayor

A new committee has been struck to help advocate for health services in Agassiz.

The District’s Health Services Select Committee consist of Coun. Lorne Fisher, Allan Roth, Wendy Colman, Eunice Royle, Betty Rajotte, Mohamed Hasanine, Robert Stam, Kerry Hilts, and the incoming CEO at Agassiz Harrison Community Services.

The committee’s purpose stems from some restructuring at Fraser Health that regrouped staff according to patient care programs, according to a report from Mayor John Van Laerhoven. That resulted in local case managers, public health nurses and mental health support staff being supervised from Hope, while doctors and nurse practitioners are supervised from Chilliwack. Previously, the supervision was both local and out of Chilliwack, staff said.

While it saves money for Fraser Health, the program does have issues, outlined by staff in the report. They included disjointed service, and a fear that staff time will be drawn out of Agassiz to serve the larger outside communities.

“This means that the District’s already small piece of the health care pie could become smaller,” Van Laerhoven’s report states.

He hopes the committee will be able to provide a “unified, proactive voice to deal with health services issues at the local, regional and provincial level.”

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