Six On / Six Off - The Health of YMM
Off: Is health really a significant enough issue to devote an entire magazine issue to it? I mean, it’s just a basic part of life.
On: Healthcare – or the quality of it, the lack thereof or the range of services available – may be one of the biggest quality of life issues in any community. In communities that are small and remote, this becomes even more crucial a factor in attracting and retaining residents.
Off: Fort McMurray is a major Albertan city, with around 80,000 permanent residents, so aren’t good health care options a given?
On: Fort McMurray is fortunate to be large enough to have a great hospital at the Northern Lights Health Centre, several excellent physicians, dentists, nurses and other health care practitioners, and a good range of health support services; one of the challenges remains specialized health care, which often requires residents to travel south to see specialists.
Off: What about non-traditional health care options? I bet those can’t be found locally.
On: Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the region is the incredible diversity of our residents, and that includes health care practices which originate in places other than the Western world. Alternative health care can be found for those who seek it, and there is a lively interest in pursuing many different avenues to both preserving and promoting good health.
Off: But health is really just about being able to find a family doctor or a place to get your prescription filled.
On: Developing good health covers a very wide range of needs, and includes both physical and mental well-being. From opportunities to explore physical fitness to ways to engage minds, a strong community attends to the overall health of its residents: mind, body, and soul.
Off: As long as you can see a doctor once in a while, your health care needs are met.
On: That’s the old school version of health; the new version is a strategy which means all health providers become partners in creating healthy residents. Whether it’s Public Health, your pharmacist, an ER doctor or even a personal trainer, their goal is the same: a healthy you.
Off: But what’s the big deal with health care? What difference does it make in the big picture?
On: Healthy residents build a healthy community. If we want a strong, healthy and resilient community, then we need to ensure we have strong, healthy and resilient residents; and every single person involved in developing healthy residents are really, in the end, building a stronger and healthier community, too.