Provincial Health Minister Susan Sullivan made a quick stop in Happy Valley-Goose Bay last Tuesday to announce a little over one million dollars in funding for Labrador and its coastal communities.
“Our government recognizes that investing in our health care facilities in also an investment in our communities and in our people,” said Sullivan.
She said in the 2012 budget, close to $3 billion dollars has been allocated for health care throughout the province, which equals forty percent of the provinces budget. The total budget for both Newfoundland and Labrador is $7 billion.
“I think it is important to know that this government is committed to health care and I think it shows in this kind of investment.”
Sullivan said with the three billion invested to date, it shows the government’s commitment to health is strong.
“This ensures all residence of this province has access to health care services as close to their homes as possible.”
Sullivan said since 2004 the province has invested $33 million in health care facilities in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the surrounding area to improve access to vital health care programs and services.
“Today I am pleased to announce more than one million dollars in budget 2012 funding for health care facilities in this area.”
Labrador Health Care will receive $861,000.00 for the purchase capital which includes; $445,000.00 for an ultrasound machine, $86,000.00 for four ECG systems and $80,000 for laparoscopy equipment.
The Mani Ashini Community Clinic that serves both Sheshatshiu and North West River and the Churchill Falls Community Clinic will each receive $16,500.00 for a cardiograph EKG machine. Churchill Falls will receive an additional $4,000.00 for a stair chair.
Labrador coastal communities from Mary’s Harbour to Nain will receive $469,500.00 for new medical equipment and renovations, while Nain, Hopedale, Natuashish, Makkovic, Postville, Rigolet, Black Tickle, Cartwright, St. Lewis, Port Hope Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, and Charlottetown will each receive new EKG machines and stair chairs valued at $250,000.00.
Nick McGrath, Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Labrador Affairs said in a press release, “our government remains focused on meeting the health care needs for all Labradorians, we have unique challenges on the coast and these investments will have a big impact in communities all along the coast.”
MHA district Lake Melville Keith Russell said, “With one million dollars in new equipment the people will be better served and as we know here in Goose Bay and you talk about the south coast and talk about the north coast, we certainly are the hub of Labrador.”
Russell said with the people coming in and out of the community, with the new equipment people can be with their families and receive the care they need.
“Thank you to the Minister for the investment, this shows what our government is capable of and what the priorities are and it is certainly in the health care field of our province,” Russell said.
Mayor Leo Abbass said, “We wanted to assure we had good services and personnel here in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to take care of those who require medical services.”
Abbass says the Town needed certain services here to help the people in the community, who need it.
“All of the infrastructure and the commitment by the government have seen the services improve, it has been greatly appreciated by those of us in the community.”
Abbass says he and council will continue to work with Health Labrador and the provincial government to ensure they message across on what they believe is needed.