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South Niagara chapter hosts health care forum, plans to release report

Photo: McMurran speaking at health care forum in 2012. Welland Tribune file photo.
Photo: McMurran speaking at health care forum in 2012. Welland Tribune file photo.

The Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter held a public forum on health care this past Sunday at the Welland Community Wellness Complex. It featured Port Colborne health services co-ordinator Joanne Ferraccioli as the guest speaker.

The Welland Tribune reports, “Council of Canadians chapter president Fiona McMurran was inspired to host the forum after attending several South Niagara Health Care Corp. meetings, which yielded information about Port Colborne’s progress in filling primary and secondary health-care gaps. Port Colborne has been able to identify programs that work well in small communities, she said, and she’d like to see similar programming applied in other areas of south Niagara.”

The article highlights, “Ferraccioli said care does not begin and end in a hospital. In fact, 97% of care takes place outside of hospital walls. While it’s important hospital care be accessible for all, municipalities must take a close look at primary- and secondary-care options available to residents, she said. Ferraccioli hoped to inspire Welland to take an approach similar to Port Colborne when it comes to addressing any gaps in services. …’These (approaches) include conducting a needs assessment, partnering with medical learners, including residents with the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, creating clinics to address issues such as dementia, applying for government funding for ancillary care for family health organizations, and nominating local physicians for awards to promote advocacy.'”

Following this forum, “McMurran would like to see a committee created to take on the questions of what residents feel is missing in local health-care services and what the next steps should be. She also hopes Welland will consider hiring a health-care co-ordinator, similar to other Niagara communities, such as Port Colborne.”

“The information collected at Sunday’s forum will be reviewed and compiled into a summary report to be later released by the Council of Canadians chapter. It will be distributed to local municipalities, as well as the Niagara Health System.”

For more about this South Niagara chapter organized public forum, please see this Tribune article, this Niagara This Week – Welland article, and this Bullet News article.

For more on the Council of Canadians national campaign to protect and expand public health care, please click here.