With the bulk of its membership in the western region, the planned new hospital for Corner Brook is a concern for the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band.
Chief Brendan Sheppard said Friday that he will bring the issue of the hospital to his council when it meets on March 13 and 14 and anticipates it will decide to take an official stand on the project.
“I’m almost certain in saying that I will be putting forward a letter to the provincial minister of Health in respects to moving forward as soon as they possibly can with the regional hospital in Corner Brook, with the modern equipment and hopefully with the necessary equipment that would prevent many people in the western Newfoundland region, even as far as Grand Falls, to not have to go to St. John’s for certain types of treatment that we now have to encounter,” said Sheppard.
“We certainly need that in western Newfoundland.”
Sheppard has talked with Israel Hann, chair of the Western Region Hospital Action Committee, and agrees with the need for a radiation unit and diagnostic equipment like a PET (positron emission tomography) scanner at the new hospital.
“I still believe in this day and age that we can make this sort of thing happen and have at least a fair amount of that sickness and health issues taken care of here in western Newfoundland.”
He not only believes that Corner Brook is the place to have it happen, but also that people from the Grand Falls area would come to the city to utilize those services rather than make the trip to St. John’s.
Sheppard has heard from members who have had to endure the hardship of travelling to St. John’s for services and said he has the utmost sympathy for them.
He said he’s certain that people who have had to travel or know those who have had to travel would support having the new hospital developed with all the necessary equipment in there to meet the needs of the people.