Patients encouraged to get involved in the primary health care

Getting patients involved in primary health care in the province was the focus of a presentation to council by Northern Health’s primary health care developer Jane Boutette, who touted opportunities for training through the Patient Voices Network.

Getting patients involved in primary health care in the province was the focus of a presentation to council by Northern Health’s primary health care developer Jane Boutette, who touted opportunities for training through the Patient Voices Network.

“As health care providers, we know that patients are often experts when it comes to primary health care, but unfortunately we don’t take that into account as often as we could when it comes to our systems and procedures,” she told council at the September 6 meeting.

“The Patient Voices Network allows patients to have a voice in their care…Here in Prince Rupert we are very interested in working with community members to improve the primary health care system.”

According to Boutette, there are four ways people can get involved and have their voices heard. The first is to sign up for the network’s registry at www.patientvoices.ca  which provides information but also allows people to participate in surveys and polls done by different health care bodies.

The second is that people can receive free training to be peer counselors to counsel others over the phone about ways of meeting their healthy goals.

The third way is to get “activated”, which has people working with  health care professionals to find solutions to local issues.

The fourth is training that allows people to become actively involved in helping to shape the health care system.

“The exciting part is all of this is paid for by the Patient Voices Network so that they can become part of the health care system,” said Boutette.

“We do have two local participants from Prince Rupert who will be receiving training [on September 17 in Richmond].”

For more information on getting involved with the Patient Voices Network, visit www.patientvoices.ca.