I am sure that any organization or project that achieved four out of five goals would be pleased with that result, which is why I am scratching my head over the dissatisfaction of a group of Oceanside citizens regarding the new Oceanside Health Clinic.
The addition of this clinic to the existing services means that Oceanside residents will have access to lifelong care, the promotion of health and well-being, management of chronic disease and the prevention of hospitalization. The services being provided will mean care closer to home and fewer trips to a specialist’s office or an emergency department. All of these services make Oceanside a more attractive place to live, work and play.
The initial construction of the clinic means jobs for the construction industry and the estimated $15 million cost of the facility represents dollars coming into the community and being spent in the community.
The opening of this facility will bring together new and existing services in a single facility and it will also mean an increase in the number of meaningful high paying jobs which our economy needs.
The ongoing operation of the clinic employing health care professionals will see an increase in the average earnings in our community and those dollars will also be spent in the community.
The construction and operation of the clinic also provides a solid first step towards increased resources and improved health care in our community.
Every journey begins with a single step, this journey began several years ago.
It has been promoted and advocated for by a coalition of residents groups and does not have to end with the construction and operation of this particular valuable resource. It will form the base for future needs as our community continues to grow and prosper.
It will fill many of the needs of current residents and establish a baseline for health care needs going forward where possibly that fifth goal and others yet to be identified can be realized.
The addition of the Oceanside Health Centre also provides one more reason for businesses to consider locating here. They can know that their employees will have improved access to health care.
Kim Burden is the executive director of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce.