Rehab unit meeting important

Chilliwack Times

Chilliwack-Hope MLA Gwen O'Mahony will moderate a townhall meeting next week on a decision she has little, if any, power to change.
Two months ago Fraser Health announced the closure of the 20-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit at Chilliwack General Hopsital (CGH), a unit that was opened with much fanfare from the BC Liberals in 2006.
The decision is made-the changes have been announced and some employees have been told their jobs are gone.
So what's the point of a townhall meeting now?
Maybe using a democratic tool such as this will alleviate some concerns about the move, and maybe, just maybe, such consultation will be used as a model for the future.
Or at least maybe Fraser Health will hear the message that decisions as important as this should involve some consultation before they are made.
More information and more input is never a bad thing, even if the topic up for a discussion is about a hospital unit that's already been eliminated.
Panel members for the July 31 meeting include representatives from the Chilliwack and District Seniors Resource Society, the Health Sciences Association, the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association, the Health Employees Union and Fraser Health.
"While this will be another opportunity for residents to have their say, I'm most hopeful it will allow us to move toward better services for patients at Chilliwack General Hospital," O'Mahony said in a press release issued Monday.
The new MLA optimistically suggests that Fraser Health should listen to Chilliwack voices before the next steps to close the unit are taken. The closure is likely certain, but O'Mahony's insistence that Fraser Health listen up should be heeded.
- The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Tzeachten Community Hall (45855 Promontory Rd.).