Health Needs Assessment for Bowen Island

As many of you might remember, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) conducted a survey for the entire Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions to assess the health needs of all of the communities within those regions. It was broken down into communities not regions, so that VCH could make health care decisions based on local needs. Bowen Island had a higher response rate than any other community in part because Caring Circle promoted it as a way to improve our health care on Bowen. Clearly, given how many people responded, we have many concerns about health care on Bowen.

One of the questions in the VCH survey asked people if they had a family/general practitioner (GP). 86 percent of Islanders responded that they do indeed have a GP. That statistic has not gone unnoticed by our contacts at VCH, who have in casual conversation wondered why we need a local clinic/health centre when most people seemed well served around primary care. The board of the new Community Medical Clinic Society of Bowen Island explained that having a GP is only helpful if you actually ‘see’ the GP; and we think there is an issue with ‘access to primary care’ on Bowen.

The board and board advisors have spent a good part of a year writing a health needs assessment that focuses on access to health services.

We hope that this will give a more complete picture of the health needs on Bowen and that we can use that information to advocate municipally, regionally, and provincially for improved access to primary care services.

Of course as many of you know, we also hope to use this information to more specifically ascertain whether a health clinic on Bowen would improve the health of Bowen Islanders and make good economic sense for Islanders as well as for the health authority.

This was a very labour-intensive project with countless volunteer hours involved and we now need the community to help us make it all worthwhile. It will all be for not if we don’t have a statistically relevant number of responders.

If you don’t have a computer, you are free to use the computer at the Library, at Caring Circle, or at the Pharmacy and staff in all of these venues will help you log on and give you support if you have any problems with the technology. And if you are housebound and don’t have a computer, the Municipality has loaned us the use of a laptop while we are working on this survey. Call Caring Circle and we will find a way to get a laptop to your home and wait while you respond to the survey. Call Caring Circle at 604 947-9100

If you want to see improvements to health care, do your part and fill out this survey!

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