FORA, MLA take tour of new health centre

New Oceanside Health Centre set to open on June 24

Tom Davies is giving a big thumbs-up to the new Oceanside Health Centre (OCA).

The spokesman for the Federation of Residents’ Associations (FORA) — a group that’s been vocal in the push to improve health services in Parksville Qualicum Beach — was taken on a tour of the OHC last week along with seven other FORA members and MLA Ron Cantelon.

The health centre’s chief administrative officer, Sheila Cruikshank, was the group’s guide. The OHC will open June 24.

“We are just really pumped up at what we saw there,” Davies said this week. “I think it’s better than a good start. I think we will see a level of service delivery that we haven’t seen here before.”

The Vancouver Island Health Authority announced this month that services — and hours of operation — of the OHC will be phased in over three months starting June 24.

Davies said he is not surprised all the promised services and the hours of operation aren’t full bore on the OHC’s opening date.

“You’d like everything to be apple-pie perfect . . . it just isn’t going to happen that way,” said Davies. “The fact there are delays — would that surprise anyone used to building and staffing these kind of facilities? I think not. I’d be surprised if everything was in place.”

When the centre opens June 24 it will have imaging and labs services and a host of other VIHA programs currently operating in other buildings around the region. The centre’s hours will mirror those of the existing facilities.