Council Matters - December 6, 2012

At its regular meeting on December 5, 2012, Council supported the concept of a multi-disciplinary health care centre in the greater Duncan urban area.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has developed a conceptual proposal, that they are calling A Community Partnership, to bridge current gaps in health care.

The proposed health care centre would serve residents of the Cowichan Valley who have no family doctor (about 4000 people) or who have one but still seek care at the emergency department or walk-in clinics (about 36,000 people). Integrated, community-based programs would target clients with chronic diseases, neurological conditions, chronic pain and other complex conditions, as well as those seeking a healthier life style.

Having identified proximity to the Cowichan Aquatic and Island Savings Centres as desirable, the Cowichan Valley Division of Family Practice and VIHA focused on the former Aquannis Centre as a logical space for a health care centre. There is ample parking, wheelchair accessibility, transit, and ancillary services such as the pool, gym, library and various community programs.

The Aquannis Centre is owned by North Cowichan and the City of Duncan and has been under-utilized since the Cowichan Aquatic Centre opened in 2008. Council is very interested in seeing more of the available space being leased out and this proposal seems like an excellent fit for the community.

Council has directed staff to submit a proposal to rent or lease space at the former Aquannis Centre to VIHA and the Cowichan Valley Division of Family Practice, to create a multi-disciplinary health care centre, if a request for proposals is issued.

On a different topic, the new Economic Development Advisory Committee is looking for volunteers who have broad-based business experience to fill its ranks. Please consider offering your time and expertise. Visit our website to fill out an application form.

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