The warden of Richmond Co. says members of all local health care foundations deserve support.
Councillors heard a presentation from Strait Richmond Hospital officials at June’s regular municipal council meeting Monday night.
They discussed plans for an ambulatory care unit at a community meeting June 5; it would have a price tag of almost $2.3 million.
A $300,000 contribution was announced by Joe Shannon, the hospital’s first chair; members of the hospital foundation have agreed to match that, but the money would have to come through fundraising.
After Monday night’s meeting, Brian Marchand, the warden of the municipality, told The Hawk it’s important to support those efforts for the sake of residents.
“It’s nice to hear that other specialists are coming from areas – be it Antigonish, be it Sydney – coming to this area and minimizing the travel that our residents have to do,” he said. “If we, in any way, can help that and continue to grow that service for our residents, we’re willing to do that.”
Marchand said a decision on how they support the project could be announced by early fall.
He said they’ve given $10,000 toward the local hospital foundation in the last two years.
Reps didn’t attach a dollar value to their funding request; instead, they asked councillors to support it as much as they feel is appropriate.
Marchand said it’s important to provide adequate care for citizens.
“Council, in the next couple of months, will probably discuss what we can do for that,” he said. “As one of the residents has brought up, (as) a taxpayer, he is not upset that we would spend tax dollars for that facility, and I believe a good majority of residents would not have an issue with that.”
Strait Richmond reps said Nova Scotia Health Authority officials have agreed to the project in principle, and will support the idea, but no dollar contribution value has been announced.
They said wait times would significantly decrease with the proposed unit; patients with non-emergency concerns currently have to wait in the ER due to a lack of hospital resources.