Province supportive of Parksville health centre

B.C. health ministry supportive as health authority awaits green light to proceed with Parksville health centre.

Last week Vancouver Island Health Authority president and CEO Harold Waldner told The News they are waiting for final approval from the Ministry of Health to start work on the Oceanside Health Centre.

The Minister of Health could not be reached but spokesperson Stephen May confirmed, “The ministry supports the concept and approach of the Oceanside Health Centre.”

While Waldner said he was “confident” construction would start soon, May said ministry officials are “hopeful that this project will be moving forward early in 2012.”

“The ministry continues to work with VIHA to complete the detailed business plan before the project can proceed to construction,” May said.

“We are confirming information being provided to us from the health authority related to the service model, services available and ensuring the best value for taxpayer dollars.”

The proposed urgent and primary care facility, last estimated at $14.4 million, appeared to have the green light last January for construction beside Trillium Lodge in Parksville, but then stalled.

Even the strongest local supporters are questioning the delays.

Tom Davies, spokesperson for the Federation of Oceanside Residents Associations recently told The News “…this is frustrating for the people of the community, folks don’t believe it’s coming anymore, it’s always just around the corner.”

Waldner said there will be an open house information day “early in the new year” as soon as they get the final signature from the ministry and construction is expected to take one year.

A planned community information forum on Jan. 11, 2012 – on health care and the proposed health centre in Parksville – by the Oceanside Division of of Family Practice, has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

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