November 9, 2018
By M. Haddad
On Saturday, October 27, 2018, the community group at Victoria Beach, who are interested in being part of the health care solutions to better medical services, met with people charged with the task. There was an atmosphere that this type of exchange is worth the time for everybody, as it impacts everyone: both those needing care and those providing it. Over 50 area residents met to exchange information and ideas with Ron Van Denakker, CAO, IERHA; Wayne Ewasko, MLA for Lac du Bonnet, Vivic Nair, Pine Falls Hospital Acute Care Clinical Manager, Corinne Katazinski, Regional Manager, Acute Care and Pine Falls Clinic.
Wayne Ewasko brought information from the Government’s perspective on the how and why of the need for a new direction to administer the complex services in the Health Care System. Comparing Manitoba to other provinces, there is a huge difference in lots of areas, specifically in the ratio of costs per population numbers, and the number of unions and bargaining units. With the strategy to develop a more streamlined administration, there are over 700 people working on various committees; 45-50 represent this area. Wayne also addressed the Personal Care Home needs, and what has transpired to bring more services. Aging in Place program and Federal funding of “Priority Home” is scheduled to be in place by April 2019.
Ron Van Denakker spoke about the recent efforts to provide all areas of the Region first-hand, the planning process, what the Transformation Team has developed from the Blue Print and Road Map announced earlier, including the need and purpose of the new Shared Health Department. He started by quoting from the presentation made by the IERHA Board Chair, Margaret Mills, at the recent IERHA Annual General Meeting. Her focus was how what is provided and demanded of the health care system is vastly different from half a decade ago. Targets need to be achieved for efficiency, role clarity, economy, simplification, elimination of overlap and redundancy and integrate where possible.
With the aid of a slide presentation, the CEO showed where Manitoba ranks at or near the top in some deliverables, and at the worst or near last in others. The annual costs by year are escalating beyond sustainability. There will be added focus on Indigenous services and he showed the current service delivery using an example of access to the Mental Health system: overwhelming and complicated and disconnected. He commented: if the system was not so complex, we would not need the position of “Navigators”. Full information can be found on the government and IERHA websites. http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/hst/index.html.
Corinne Katazinski reviewed a handout with the current staff complement in Pine Falls Hospital, with their specialties. Record-sharing between the health care teams, including the pharmacies and the Reserves, is being updated to provide immediate access to medical treatment history. On another topic, she spoke about new funding becoming available through a grant, which will be focused on Mental Health Needs. It was acknowledged that the rising “Meth Crisis” has given rise to more people needing treatment, and in particular, exhibiting violent and unpredictable behavior. Additional meth clinics and detox kits will be coming.
A variety of measures have been taken to make the hospital a safer place. These include installation of security cameras, more lighting, staff have panic alarms, and “code white” training, controlled entry to Emergency, and designated Safe Rooms.
Vivic Nair explained his new role as Acute Care manager. His concerns focused on freeing up ambulance transfers by using where possible either the Handi Van or Air Ambulance services, stressing patient safety first. He is managing the overflow of patients in the hallway, if necessary, as most of the beds are currently occupied with patients waiting to be relocated to long-term care. He indicated that he takes into consideration the need for family to be close, so has not transferred patients out of the area. The Kidney Dialysis unit has been doubled to serve 20 patients every day.
A short Q & A session raised questions on Home Care funding and current services; the Meth Crisis, its easy access and demands for help on current resources; use of EMS staff and ambulances, 911 dispatch issues.
After a brief “muffin & coffee” time-out, the round-table work began. Issues raised from this exercise included: criticism of the IERHA’s communication: website, and Contact information that works; Personal Care Home availability and proximity; EMS: at initial contact, availability, speed, scope of expertise of paramedics; Retention and Recruitment of appropriately trained staff. A final discussion between all participants covered concerns of prescription misuse, , ongoing need for vigilance with Sensitivity Training for all staff, and an urgency to develop a skilled geriatric focus as the population ages.
Information on the community group is available from Gail Green, 204-756-3711.