From supports for teen mothers through to long-term care, last night's forum on the all nations hospital at Seven Generations raised a lot of difficult issues. They also got responses from those in charge of shaping the new district hospital and its community services.
At a forum earlier this month, Sarah Beckman talked about her experience giving birth, saying she felt a lack of support when she went to Winnipeg for more specialized care. Last night, she raised the issues faced by a teen mother, who were transferred to another city.
"She was sent on Ornge air to Winnipeg by herself without any advocates, without a family member, delivered the baby in Winnipeg and then -- because she was under age, she was 16-years-old -- she found that CFS (Child and Family Services) were going to apprehend her baby," she said.
After the forum, hospital CEO and president Ray Racette addressed the issue with Beckman, noting the renewed efforts by partners in the district and Treaty 3 to create a more seamless health system for better patient care.
Another speaker last night was Sydney Flett of Rat Portage, who works for the Kenora Chiefs Advisory. Afterwards, Flett shared some of the stories she's hearing from youth about gaps in the health care system.
"Some youth, who go to the hospital, because they need the services, will leave because they don't feel they're being seen in a timely manner, so even if it is something that could be serious, they're leaving, because they don't think they're getting the attention or the service that they need. So they just go on living with whatever they have," she said.
Flett noted youth dealing with mental illness or sexual health concerns might be more reluctant to wait patiently for treatment.
Speakers also talked about their bad experiences with staff, and Racette said an important part of the process was changing the culture, so it reflected the importance of providing caring and compassionate service. This was an issue raised in a consultant's report before Racette arrived, and it was an area of improvement highlighted by evaluators in the hospital's most recent accreditation report.
Speakers also talked about the importance of walk-in clinics for treatment when a doctor's appointment takes too long, but a trip to the emergency room isn't warranted. Racette agreed this was a gap in service.
Cindy Melenchenko suggested blending different generations together in a new development, so that seniors in long-term care might interact with younger generations.
Anthony Sharp talked about the importance of having good access to a new site for both air and land ambulance, noting the current site has both.
Staff with the all nations hospital project are hoping to gather as much input from the public in the next few weeks, so it will shape the design, construction and operation of a new building. The oldest part of the existing hospital dates back to 1929, so planners are trying to look ahead to the next century. This includes issues like climate change, heating sources and the use of flexible spaceto allow for new uses.
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