GREAT NORTHERN PENINSULA, N.L. – The Town of St. Anthony is distributing a survey to gauge the public’s perception of health care on the Great Northern Peninsula.
They hope to work with other municipalities to get feedback throughout the region.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 1, they had received a response of support from the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm.
Mayor Desmond McDonald says the town wants to know if residents are satisfied with services, if there are areas for improvement or if they have specific issues with health care in the past.
“Any kind of feedback they would have, good or bad,” he told The Northern Pen.
“Especially with an aging population, we want to know where we expect health care to be in the future and where we want it to be.”
On the survey, respondents are asked to grade by priority their levels of concern for various health care issues.
They may also include further comments.
The survey is being distributed in preparation of a health forum the town has arranged in the fall of 2018.
The top five-six topics will be chosen as discussion items for the forum.
McDonald says the town will be inviting different officials and representatives, including Health and Community Services Minister John Haggie, St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows MHA Christopher Mitchelmore and others, for the fall session.
McDonald feels health care service is a concern for the region.
“There are a number of services we were used to having in the area that are no longer available,” he said. “Travel for health care for some of our seniors is a concern as always.”
He has spoken to other locals with troubling personal experiences with health care. On the other hand, he says there are people who are happy with the care they’ve been provided.
“We have a lot of good people working at the hospital here in our area and the same can be said for all of the clinics around the tip of the peninsula,” he said. “But they can only do the job with the tools they’re given.
“We got to find what we can do to push health care in the right direction so people can get the best care possible.”
The survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/3QP2YG6.www.surveymonkey.com/r/3QP2YG6.
Anyone who would like a hard copy of the survey is asked to request one at their local town hall.
Any questions can be directed to the town office in St. Anthony.
Community Health Needs Assessment
Labrador-Grenfell Health (LGH) is the regional health authority for the Great Northern Peninsula as well as all of Labrador.
It released a statement to the Northern Pen noting that as part of its 2017-20 strategic plan, it has committed to completing a Community Health Needs Assessment.
This will also involve identifying and prioritizing health concerns.
Community consultations will be part of the process and is planned in upcoming months.
LGH says the fall Health Forum will also contribute to its ongoing consultations with communities it serves.
“Labrador-Grenfell Health looks forward to working with all communities, including those on the Northern Peninsula. We encourage open and constructive dialogue to improve overall population health,” the statement read.
“This work will strengthen the capacity of Labrador-Grenfell Health to address population health issues in the region and increase access to primary health services.”