Expensive new health centres won’t save money


The estimated cost of the new Cambridge Bay health centre will be in excess of $20 million.

Looking at other municipalities like Fort Smith and Hay River, which I lived in for 30 years, a new complex alone did not remedy the shortages of doctors and nurses.

The difficulty the Northwest Territories is having recruiting health care professionals to the North is well-publicized, even with their extravagant facilities. The cost of transportation and accommodation for out-patient programs was not reduced, but in fact increased.

The previous government has been told the real reason for our shortage of health care professionals, but they chose to ignore it and build an extravagant building that requires hiring outside companies with their own experts to complete it. Because of the type of facility and high technical equipment, again the same reasoning will be used when it comes to hiring personnel once it’s ready.

It is estimated that a small three-bedroom house in Cambridge would cost $200,000 to build. Do you realize if the funds spent on the new facility had been allocated to housing that 100 units could have been built?

Many families could have had their own homes. On top of all that, the technical expertise to build and maintain these houses could have been met by the local workforce.

That means homes and jobs for the local unemployed, removing a major cause of an unhealthy community. Want to reduce the burden on services and save money? Reduce the need. This is what I would call a healing community.

My question is: Is your intention as a new or returning MLA to change old ways of allocating funds and embrace new concepts so our communities can start finding less extravagant and more practical working solution such as the one stated above?

Richard Plamondon
Cambridge Bay

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