Sunday, August 5, 2012


Voice Exclusive

And The Survey Says...

MLA O'Mahony holds town hall meeting and shares results of a questionnaire

Staff/Voice/Submitted photo


n Tuesday July 31, Chilliwack-Hope MLA Gwen O'Mahony held a Town Hall meeting looking for feedback regarding the contentious decision by Fraser Health Authority to close the Sub-Acute Care Unit at Chilliwack General Hospital that provided rehabilitation to patients.

Myrtle Macdonald, who is a retired nurse, told the Voice in an e-mail that people should visit the unit before it's closed.

"See the lovely large areas for Physio and Occupational Therapy, the home-like dining area, nice rooms and kindly staff," Macdonald said.

"Two years ago the detox unit on that floor was closed to save money. Treatment since then, for addicted people is far away, and as far as I know, there are no funds for family or a significant other to go with the patient to see that he/she gets there. A lot of caring people were upset."

Macdonald also suggests that home care is less than adequate for the community's needs including neighbouring Agassiz.

"There is a Sub Acute unit in Agassiz but it does not have as strong team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The set up is like any nursing home," she said. "I had a friend there with orthopedic complications and I found very little rehab treatment was done with her and she did not benefit from her long stay there."

"When relatives are elderly and don't drive any more, or even if they do, it is an hours' drive and a chore driving that far to visit."

O'Mahony told the Voice in an e-mail Thursday that the Town Hall Meeting was a good turnout with just under 100 people in attendance.

"I was impressed by the participation of those who attended and the panel," O'Mahony said adding thanks to Allan Hunt president of Chilliwack and District Senior's Resource Society, Reid Johnson President of Health Sciences Association, John Simpson Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association, Bonnie Pearson Secretary and Business Manager for the Hospital Employee's Union and Scott Brolin Director of Rehabilitation Services Fraser Health Authority for agreeing to participate as panel members.

O'Mahony also thanked Dr. Jones for attending on behalf of the Division of Family Practice.

"Not only did participants contribute to the dialogue and raise issues on behalf of our community, but the majority of attendees took the time to answer our questionnaire," she said.

A ten-question survey was also conducted at the meeting and later online. The questions and results are as follows;

1. How did you hear about the Town Hall?

· Newspaper advertisement - 43% newspaper article

· Newspaper article - 29% newspaper ad

· Social media - 10% social media

· Word of mouth - 19% word of mouth

· Flyer - 29% flyer

2. Did you find that your questions about the closure of the ward were adequately addressed?

67% no

3. Were questions posed to the panel answered to your satisfaction?

48% no

33% yes

14% somewhat

4. Were you satisfied that the panel was representative of community interests?

62% yes

5. Did you find the choice of venue convenient/appropriate?

71% yes

6. Do you feel differently about the closure of the ward than you did before attending the Town Hall?

No - 62% no

I still have concerns/questions - 38% still have questions/concerns

7. Do you believe that patients formerly using the ward will have their needs met by the proposed alternatives?

No - 71% no

8. Do you believe that home care, as currently administered, is equal to the challenges of this community?

No - 71% no

9. Would you attend another Town Hall on this, or another issue of community concern, if your MLA’s Community Office were to plan it?

95% yes

10. Would you attend another Town Hall on this, or another issue of community concern, if another organization were to plan it?

67% yes


11 respondents had difficulty hearing responses. Some said this was particularly true of Scott Brolin, panel member from Fraser Health Authority.

Per questions (in order appearing on survey):

Question 1:


Receiving a flyer from my MLA made me feel I had a responsibility to respond to a call for community input.

Question 2:

Scott Brolin danced around many of the questions.

Answers were too general. Not enough specifics, especially Brolin.

Question 3:

Technical issues made it difficult to hear.

Yes, except Scott Brolin. Too much spin. Reid and Pearson were great.

Couldn't understand Brolin. Spoke too quickly and too quietly.

Couldn't hear responses.

Question on the irrevocability of decision was not answered. Impact on Emergency ignored.

Some great responses from the panel.

Question 4:

There was no representation from home care or emergency staff.

Some panel members were spinning and using double speak.

Would have been nice to have a doctor on the panel.

Question 5:

All negative responses addressed issues with sound system (many in attendance were elderly).

Question 6:

Should absolutely be kept open as a sub-acute unit.

The unit should stay open.

Still adamantly opposed to closure.

Question 7:

Transportation issues with this model are huge and were completely downplayed by Mr. Brolin.

Question 8:

Insufficient resources.

Absolutely not.

Would like to know skill level of home care deliverers.

Question 9:


Question 10:

I want my MLA involved in the community's concerns

General comments in response to no particular question:

It is appalling that John Les did not bother to attend. He is from the governing party and is MLA of region where hospital is located.


Gwen O’Mahony, MLA Chilliwack-Hope

For more information, call 604-702-9633 or e-mail here


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