Island Health seeks feedback on health care

NANAIMO – Island Health is looking for community input for its new five-year strategic plan.

Nanaimo residents have a chance to weigh in on the state of health care and opportunities for improvement during an open house for Island Health’s new strategic plan.

Island Health is touring Vancouver Island this November for public input on its new five-year strategic plan. An open house will be held in Nanaimo on Nov. 25.

According to Grant Hollett, corporate director of planning and community engagement, the last strategic plan was created in 2005 when the health authority was still in its infant years.

The focus was on getting to know the needs of the Island and what had to be accomplished in the short term, he said, adding the authority is in a very different place today.

The 2018  strategic plan will determine the direction of the organization and where it should be investing its energy and funding.

There is no specific budget for the plan, but Hollett estimates community engagement could cost up to $30,000.

The dollars will be used from funding already set aside for Island Health’s annual efforts at building community presence.

“[These open houses are] the first step in creating a new strategic plan,” Hollett said. “This opens the opportunity for the general public to come out [and discuss] challenges and opportunities that face health care and the health authority on Vancouver Island and where everybody thinks we need to head to.”

General themes and information on community health issues will be available online early next week to kick start discussion. The new strategic plan is expected to be complete by spring 2014.

Nanaimo residents can take part in the open house at the Nov. 25 at the Beban Park social centre, between 5:30 and 7:30.