People in the West Kootenay are invited to share their thoughts on the future of health care in the region. File photo

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

A university research team wants to hear your two cents’ worth about health care in rural areas.

And your contribution might help develop provincial government policy.

Researchers with the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Rural Health Research are putting on a push to get more British Columbians to respond to a survey asking their opinion about how health care is delivered in rural areas.

“It’s quite short,” promises Christine Carthew, the rural evidence Rreview’s co-ordinator. “There are just two main questions.”

LINK: Rural Evidence Review Survey

Researchers want to know what people on the Arrow Lakes (and across the province) have for priorities for health care, and ideas on how those issues can be addressed.

Carthew’s group will take the information and do literature reviews on topics to see how such issues have been addressed elsewhere.

Out of that evidence comes policy recommendations for government and health administrations.

“Those recommendations go to policy makers in the province,” says Carthew. “And we bring the data back to communities for advocacy purposes.”

The research project began in 2016, and will be completed 2021. People can take the anonymous survey anytime during the project’s lifetime. So far, Carthew says 1,000 people have responded.

“What we realized through looking at data and what we are hearing is this topic is really important to a lot of people,” she says. “It’s something people are passionate about, people want to be heard about.”

If you’d like to expand on some of your thoughts, you can participate even further.

The research team wants to do confidential phone interviews with residents about the review’s research priorities.

The team is also putting together a rural citizen advisory committee to provide local input about rural health care needs in British Columbia, provide feedback on the project’s work, and help the team plan how to share the project’s findings with rural communities across B.C.

If you’re interested in participating in an interview or joining the advisory committee, email Carthew: christine.carthew@ubc.ca

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