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Sundre Wellness Committee asks for county resolution backing

Resolutions call for provincial government action
MVT-Mayor WarnockJPG
Sundre mayor Richard Warnock. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county will be working with the Sundre Wellness Committee on several draft health care-related resolutions proposed to be presented during the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) fall 2022 convention.

Sundre mayor Richard Warnock appeared before Mountain View County council on July 13 as a delegation to discuss three draft resolutions: one regarding laboratory and X-ray services for rural site; one about rural registered nurses training; and one regarding the new eSIM training lab in Sundre.

Council’s motion calls for the county to work with the committee on the draft resolutions and return any proposed changes to council prior to the fall convention. Each resolution calls for government ministry action on identified areas of concern.

RMA represents 69 rural municipalities, including Mountain View and Red Deer counties. As only RMA member municipalities are able to present resolutions to the association, the Sundre Wellness Committee is working with the county on the resolutions initiative.

The laboratory and X-ray of rural sites resolution calls on the provincial minister of Health and minister of Advanced Education to “create seats available to train lab/X-ray technicians for rural Alberta and that they be immediately increased from 40 to 80.”

The background briefing note accompanying the resolution states, in part, “This part of our hospitals is vital and essential to keeping a rural emergency room open. These combined skills are specific and mandatory to rural hospitals, and staff shortages are apparent across the province.”

Only the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology currently provides the lab/X-ray training in Alberta, offering 40 seats per year, council heard.

The rural registered nurses training resolution calls on the minister of Health and the minister of Advanced Education to “create a rural practitioner stream for registered nurse health-care professionals during their final year of training.”

The background briefing note accompanying the resolution states, in part, “A rural steam for a registered nurse can better prepare new graduates for whaat they may encounter following graduation. A four to six moth placement in a rural hospital during a registered nurses’s final year of study would provide invaluable knowledge of rural medicine, and better prepare them for a career in rural health care.”

The eSIM resolution calls on the government to “provide funding for partnership opportunities with local health foundations who can develop local training centres for health-care professionals in strategic rural communities.”

Sundre’s new eSIM recently opened in a portion of the former town fire hall.

The resolution background note states, in part, “Provincial investment in this (Sundre) training centre, and the potential for others in strategic locations throughout the province would help prepare health-care professionals though special training to meet the special challenges of rural health care.

“Rural hospitals could provide preceptors (teachers or instructors) for new grads to learn and develop the necessary skills in a less intimidating setting, therefore encouraging more students to consider rural upon graduation.”

Mayor Warnock told council, “We are looking for Mountain View County to put the resolutions to RMA. We are requesting you take them to RMA.”

Council instructed administration to work with the committee to finalize the resolutions’ wording before returning the resolutions to council for possible final approval. 

If approved at the county level, the resolutions would first go before the RMA central district zone conference and then, if approved there, before the general RMA conference.