South Peace News
Too many doctors, not enough houses!
If there is any problem to have, it might be the most pleasant to deal with.
The impending arrival of two physicians in the Smoky River region and trying to help find them living accommodations was on the minds of McLennan town council at its Feb. 14 meeting.
“Do we want to buy another house?” asked Mayor Jason Doris.
Council heard one doctor has already found a house while the one in Town needs upgrading. The house’s costs and revenues are shared by the region’s municipalities.
Council believes the matter is a regional issue which requires financial help from everyone including the Town of Falher, Village of Donnelly, Village of Girouxville, and M.D. of Smoky River.
“I personally think because the hospital is in this town, we should buy,” said Councillor Sue Delaurier.
“We have a vested interest.”
Councillor Marie-Anne Jones was not so sure.
“We need so many streets done in town,” she said.
“How will [residents] feel?” she asked.
“They’ll feel worse if there is no doctor,” replied Doris.
Councillor Luc Dubrule favoured a regional approach.
“Why is this all on us?” he asked.
Delaurier added a problem will arise because of a housing shortage in town.
“We don’t have much to pick from in this town,” she said.
“If we want a hospital in the region, we have to have a house,” he said.
“The issue is. . .we should all contribute. . .and that house has to be in McLennan,” said Doris.
Physicians are required to live within a certain distance from the hospital. In McLennan, they cannot live across the train tracks.
Jones did not want to proceed with a purchase without a plan. Councillor Margaret Jacob agreed.
“We need the support from the other communities,” she said, adding it was everyone’s responsibility.
“We have doctors coming,” said Councillor Maggie Gervais. “We need two homes.”
Doris asked council for direction.
“How do we want to approach this?” he asked, proposing council buy a house or target a regional approach.
“We really have to push, it’s a regional concern,” said Jones.
Council agreed to bring forward the matter at the next regional meeting.
With regards to housing avail ability for new doctors in McLennan, Alberta I believe the Provincial and Federal Governments should be contributing if not providing 100% of funding for these homes.
Small Northern communities require hospitals and staff but struggle with funding such initiatives. A regional hospital such as the one in McLennan that services all of the surrounding communities is a good and efficient way to provide good health services for Albertans who are far away from major Centres. Without this hospital, the entire region will suffer and quickly lose residents.
I was born at the McLennan hospital and was raised in Donnelly and while I no longer live in the area, I have family, extended family, and many friends who still do.
This is a small ask of our governments with respect to funding a couple of homes for the entire area.
The provision of these funds by our government is a small price for them to pay for the entire region.
Well said Gilles, I agree!