© Star file photo
Vaughn Granter, MHA for Humber West, addresses members of the Great Humber Joint Council Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 in Massey Drive.
Vaughn Granter says it’s time to provide residents of western Newfoundland and Labrador with a modern, well-equipped health-care centre with PET (positron emission tomography) and radiation services.
Granter, the Progressive Conservative MHA for Humber West, made the statement in an open letter that was read at the meeting held by the West Coast Health Care Action Committee at the Pepsi Centre Thursday night.
“Ironically, I am at the bedside of a family member in ICU (intensive care unit) in the Health Science Centre in St. John’s,” he said in the letter to explain his absence at the meeting.
It is there that he has spent the better part of the last four months during his non-working hours, “being with and caring for a sick family member.”
Granter said it's given him a chance to reflect on where the province is in the delivery of health services to the regions.
“Great things are being done by the health professionals in all health authorities and I thank the women and men who on a daily basis contribute to the health care of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. They go to work every day to make a difference in our lives.”
Granter said in his daily visits to the ICU he has met people from every part of the province, and every day he sees residents from Corner Brook who are receiving health services in St. John’s.
“There have been times for a number of reasons when some have no family member to sit, share and encourage them back to health. I have seen it and I have experienced it first hand.”
Granter continues in the letter to say that he has spoken to health professionals about the regional need for services.
“Very early on, I looked at the radiation services provided in Nova Scotia and in particular Sydney, and began to map out the similarities between that part of Nova Scotia and western Newfoundland — similar geography, similar infrastructure, similar communities, similar issues and similar demographics and populations," he writes.
“However, I always kept going back to the conversations I had with people from western Newfoundland and Labrador that found themselves receiving treatments in St. John’s, and having to spend weeks on end without the ability to return home on a daily basis to their families, to their own beds and comfort of family and friends.
"We can look at health care through many different lenses, but we must not forget that lens.”
That’s why he supports the purchase of the best technologies to assist the medical professionals in the field. He said that’s something he’s said in the House of Assembly and through social media.
“If that is (a) PET scanner as we know it today, or a PET scanner with Q. Clear Technology (just approved recently by the United States FDA) or PET/CT combination or a PET/MRI combination or some other technology — that is what I support.”
He also wanted the people to know that he supports the establishment of radiation services for the new western Newfoundland and Labrador health facility in Corner Brook.
“I will, as I have been doing, continue to advocate for these two things to come to fruition.”