Town encouraged by rural health review announcement

The Town of Sylvan Lake responded positively to the Province’s announcement on Tuesday of a comprehensive health care review

The Town of Sylvan Lake responded positively to the Province’s announcement on Tuesday of a comprehensive health care review for rural Alberta communities.

The review will see a panel of stakeholders and health care experts look into health care delivery in what Premier Jim Prentice described as “underserviced rural and remote areas.” Findings will be reported to Health Minister Stephen Mandel within 90 days.

“I learned from my travels across Alberta this summer that many rural communities are seriously concerned about health care delivery,” said Prentice in a Province release.

Aspects of health care access, specialist services, existing health facilities, personnel recruitment, economic development and health service planning will all be considered as part of the review.

Sylvan Lake mayor Sean McIntyre was encouraged by the development.

“Our global approach to developing and improving healthcare services to Sylvan Lake and area appears to be right in line with what Premier Prentice and his government are proposing,” he said in a Town release.

The community advisory committee leading the push for a Family Care Centre in Sylvan Lake said at a town hall meeting earlier this month that it was hoping to have a business plan submitted to the Health Minister by the end of September.

The Town is now hoping to set up a face-to-face meeting between McIntyre, members of the advisory committee, Prentice and Mandel.

“Our goal is to familiarize them with our needs and current initiative, and to hopefully get clarification of the process moving forward under this new cabinet and government,” said McIntyre, adding he aims to capitalize on the premier’s mention of touring applicable rural communities. “Perhaps now would be an optimal time to invite him to personally visit Sylvan Lake to learn firsthand of the grass roots work already done in an effort to improve access to improved health care.”