Thursday, October 29, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good News for weary Rupertites waiting for a doctor, RCMP investigate the discovery of a body on the waterfront and did Canpotex's email finds itself in some interesting places? Some of the items of the news cycle for Wednesday.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
LOCAL HEALTH CARE GETS A SHOT IN THE ARM-- Details of some steps in motion to alleviate the doctor shortage in the city, as Prince Rupert City council learns of the arrival of one doctor in town, with three more on the way. As part of the health care initiative, the Greene Clinic will reopen in January as a primary health care clinic, offering those 4,000 Rupertites currently without a family physician the opportunity to access health care with their own doctor.
The schedule for the H1N1 roll out has been released, with clinics set to begin next week at the Rupert Square Shopping Mall. Wednesday's paper reported that there were no confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus in the community, though that would quickly change as school came to a close on Wednesday and the School District sent out a letter advising of one case at Westview school.

Metlakatla Chief Councillor Harold Leighton provided some background on the recent decision of the Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla First Nations to ask for judiciary review on the Canpotex potash project site. A move that has some in the community concerned that Canpotex may decide that there are too many obstacles in place on the North coast for their project, moving it instead to Vancouver. In a Daily News interview Leighton outlined the reasons for their intervention, among them the location of the site resting over several important former sites and traditional areas, as well as it being a fishing ground for members of both communities.

500,000 dollars in funding are up for grabs from the Aviva Community Fund, and Recreation Director Michael Curnes knows just the project for some of that money. Curnes is urging local residents to log onto the Aviva community fund website and voting for a project that would see the installation of four metal umbrellas over the city's new Green Gym at McClymont Park. The cost of the four umbrellas would be around the 30,000 dollar range. As of Wednesday the Rupert project had 107 votes cast, the first round deadline is November 29th when sixty projects will get the go ahead to the next round, the final decision is set for January 25th, 2010.

The Sports section featured a couple of articles on life on the road with the Prince Rupert Rampage.

(Daily News Archive Articles for Wednesday, October 28, 2009)

The Northern View
Dead Body found at Prince Rupert waterfront-- A body discovered by RCMP at the Lightering dock near Kwinitsa station around the noon hour on Wednesday had been identified by late in the day. Police had informed the next of kin during the course of their investigation, though no names were released by police in the matter which had been running the rumour mill for the majority of the day. The Northern View posted updates through the day with further details (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Canpotex document leaked
A purported document relating to the recent moves by local First Nations regarding an environmental review of the Canpotex site made its way onto the internet on Tuesday, and the suspected private correspondence added to the growing twists and turns of the quest to locate a potash terminal at Ridley Island. Canpotex advised that they had no official statements to make about the terminal situation at the moment. The document first appeared locally on the local portal hackingthemainframe, though there is as of yet no clear indication from Canpotex that it is a true reflection of any internal communications on the local aspects of the proposed terminal project (see article here)

Daily News, Front page, headline story
Local health care gets a shot in the arm
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City council learned Monday evening that Prince Rupert is one step closer to solving its doctor shortage.

A new primary health care clinic should be open in the former Greene Clinic by January.

Three doctors have signed on and a fourth is being pursued. In addition, a nurse practitioner will be returning to be part of the health care team.

According to Marina Ellinson, Chief Operating Officer for Northern Health's western region, the new clinic should meet the needs of the 4,000 local residents who have been without a family physician for some time and it will not be a walk-in clinic.

"We have been working hard to make sure the emergency room isn't crowded and it's been a difficult recruitment process," Ellinson told council. "Northern Health knows that Prince Rupert needs a long term and innovative solution."

The new clinic will provide patients with a physician they can have a long-term relationship with, rather than seeing various doctors in the hospital's emergency ward.

Councillor Joy Thorkelson asked how many patients will be able to access the new clinic and heard that the doctor ratio is generally one to 1,000 - 2,000 patients.

"There are spots for four doctors so we're hoping that the 4,000 people that are without a doctor can be attached to one," Ellinson said.

Asking council to be patient, Ellinson admitted she couldn't give definite dates of the clinic's opening, but said Northern Health is hoping for early December or early January.

"There are lots of details yet to come," she added.

As reported in by the Daily News in August, the new clinic will be set up so that doctors arriving in Prince Rupert can start to work immediately.

When asked by councilor Gina Garon if the doctors are required to sign a timeline commitment, Ellinson said that was a good question.

"I think we can say these physicians are coming to make Prince Rupert their home," she assured.

Councillor Kinney asked about addiction support services and was told initially the clinic will set up its primary health care services and then will work with the community to add more levels of service.

And while the model of a primary health care clinic will be new to Prince Rupert, having had a nurse practitioner at the Greene Clinic previously was a step toward that goal, Ellinson said.

"In a primary health care clinic the physician is the cornerstone, but that physician is one part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes nurse practitioners and mental health workers."

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