Business plan on the way for Health Centre

Health CentreThe Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) and the Sun Peaks Health Association (SPHA) expect to receive the business plan for a fully operational Health Centre before the year’s end.

Mayor Al Raine, said the business plan will be distributed between the SPMRM and the SPHA for their input, before the groups get together to devise a strategy to move forward.

The plan will help to determine the affordability and sustainability of setting up and running a full-time, staffed Health Centre within Sun Peaks.

“We need to know if it’s affordable. If it’s very, very costly, then the Interior Health Association won’t have any part of it,” Raine said. “If we’re going to look at a private operation, we need to know the numbers so we can attract a doctor.”

Raine said he believed there was a strong energy and enthusiasm in Sun Peaks to raise the funds for the facility.

“We have to be absolutely certain that it won’t be a drag on the municipality each year. I think rate-payers would be willing to support or subsidize the operation for a little while, but we can’t be subsidizing it for $100,000 or $200,000 (every year).”

Raine said access to quality health care was “a fundamental need” for the community.

“Several times I’ve picked up employees from Sun Peaks who are hitching a ride to Kamloops because they have a health problem and our clinic isn’t open,” Raine said.

“There’s also an expectation from our international guests that health facilities are provided within the community.”

While Raine commended Ski Patrol and the volunteer medical professionals in Sun Peaks, he said there’s still a need for a greater quality of health care to be provided in the community.

Raine said Worksafe B.C. regulations require a construction site with more than six employees to have an ambulance on site, yet health and safety on ski resorts continues to be lacking.

“We can have 4,000 or 5,000 people skiing, in an activity which most people would agree has a certain amount of risk, but our medical facilities are a bit lacking, and our ability to get people in need to hospital is certainly curtailed,” he said.