The City of Estevan says a recent meeting with the Sun Country Health Region was a good step towards building a better relationship between themselves and other municipalities in the southeast.
Members of the Sun Country board held the first in a series of Community Leadership Network meetings April 12 in Estevan. The board met with elected officials from the southeast corner to discuss pressing health-care matters in an effort to create "formal links" between the board and the various municipalities.
Councillor Roy Ludwig represented the City at the meeting and said he was pleased with the meeting and felt it was a positive step forward. Ludwig, who is also the chairman of the South East Community Health Committee, said a number of points were raised, in particular the idea of having an elected board for Sun Country.
"A lot of the municipal representatives have gone to (Health Minister) Don McMorris and suggested that the regional board be elected," he said. "We still haven't heard where that is going, but I guess it started the discussion as far as their representation to the region."
Ludwig said the municipal representative asked if Sun Country would explore the possibility of creating a website which would contain information such as contact numbers for board members, dates of upcoming meetings as well what issues the board dealing with and are they being dealt with. It was unclear if the website would be open to the public or as a means of communication between the two groups.
"I think (the meeting) was a step in the right direction and it gives these smaller communities which maybe don't have a voice on the board an opportunity to bring forward their concerns face to face."
In a release from Sun Country, chairwoman Sharon Bauche said the board wants to ensure there is a clear line of communication on health issues in the region.
"We are hoping these officials will go back to their communities and continue our discussions with the public."
It's expected that Sun Country will hold the Community Leadership Network meeting twice a year, in the spring and fall. The press release noted the April 12 meeting also included a presentation on the expansion of the primary health program to a wider area of the region.
Primary Health is described as a team based approach to health care which includes a wide range of people from residents to doctors to facility managers with all working towards the goal of providing the right care at the right time by the most appropriate health provider.
"We think this first set of meetings have been a useful means of providing more information to the public and we're grateful for the numbers of officials who attended," said Bauche.
"We look forward to the creation of strong ties with the communities within our boundaries."