Editorial – Gov’t open to hearing local concerns

Richard Froese

Healthcare services in many northern and rural Alberta communities have been an issue for residents for a long time. Residents, patients and caregivers have expressed their frustration with the lack of programs and service or poor quality.

Many rural regions struggle with physician shortages.

Residents have an opportunity to share their stories, concerns, and suggestions with the government in Refocusing Health Care in Alberta.

Local MLAs and Health Minister Adriana LaGrange are eager to listen to residents to help shape the future of the healthcare system.

“Ensuring Albertans and their families have a healthcare system that is responsive and reliable is critical,” LaGrange said in a news release Jan. 16.

People are invited to share their views in a survey online. Simply go to the Government of Alberta website at gov.ab.ca. Click on “Learn More”, then click on the “Future of Alberta is in Your Hands” then to Get Involved online feedback.

Public engagement sessions are also planned at Falher on March 12 and Peace River on March 13. Pre-registration is required.

The government plans to create a more effective healthcare system that serves Albertans when and where they need it as the news release states.

Two other reviews for day care for children and young families and for seniors’ have also been launched.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to state their views online in the Early Learning and Child Care Parent Engagement Survey to help shape child care in the province.

The survey runs until Feb. 11 and is available on the government website as a link on the news release dated Jan. 15.

To help the government improve Alberta’s childcare system, parents are invited to share their views on what defines high-quality child care and the services they expect from childcare operators.

Child care and daycare programs are valuable services for many young families in communities, including those in rural regions.

Plans to open a daycare service in Kinuso continue.

Big Lakes Councillor Roberta Hunt – who represents Kinuso – says a daycare has been needed in the community.

“We’re suffering trying to keep young families in our hamlets,” Hunt said in a news story in the South Peace News issue of Dec. 13, 2023.

The other review focuses on meeting the needs of seniors living in lodges.

A review panel is finding ways to make the most of existing seniors’ lodge spaces and help seniors age in their communities.

The panel will also consult with stakeholders and residents, although no schedule or survey has been confirmed.

Government is open to listen and improve services to meet the needs of citizens and communities.

Now, residents just have to respond and work with government.

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