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Salish Sea Sentinel | April 20, 2024

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Snaw-naw-as health services increase

Snaw-naw-as health services increase

A long-held dream of David Bob for a full suite of health services for the Snawnaw- as First Nation community is becoming a reality.

Dr. Randal Mason with patient at the Snaw-naw-as health centre. Photo by Tricia Thomas

Dr. Randal Mason is visiting the nation’s four-year-old health centre two days a week. A dental hygienist visits regularly, as do a chiropractor, addictions and mental health workers, home and community care workers and occupational therapists. “I guess I was in the right place at the right time,” Bob said as he talked about meetings with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the need for regular visits by a doctor.


Occupational therapist visits regularly. Photo by Tricia Thomas

“I told them my vision and dream and how I heard about the possibility of interns coming in from UBC. And it all worked out.” The intern pilot project started in January and ends in July. Bob has high hopes that it will become an ongoing program.

“Some of our community members refused to go into Nanaimo to see a doctor,” he said. “They were afraid of prejudices. Here people feel safe.”