Interior Health announced they will continue to provide 24/7 service at Kaslo's Victorian Community Health Centre until the end of January 2013.

Interior Health announced they will continue to provide 24/7 service at Kaslo's Victorian Community Health Centre until the end of January 2013.

Deadline for Kaslo hospital’s emergency room extended

Kaslo’s Victorian Community Health Centre will continue to have 24/7 until the end of January 2013, but there will likely be interruptions.

Changes to Kaslo’s Victorian Community Health Centre emergency department services have been postponed until the end of January.

The announcement from the Interior Health Authority followed meetings between Kaslo Mayor Greg Lay and regional district director for area D Andy Shadrack and Interior Health’s CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny at the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Victoria.

“This change means Interior Health will continue to provide 24/7 emergency services beyond November 2, as physician and nursing staff availability allows,” read a press release from Interior Health.

Interior Health announced in September as of November 2, Victorian Community Health Centre would operate with reduced hours and only offer emergency service from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Our physicians are dedicated to the provision of accessible and quality care for this community,” said Dr. Alan Stewart, senior medical director for community and residential services. “ While they have made it clear that the current model of coverage is untenable in the long term, we are very pleased that they have committed to additional availability, allowing us to deliberate further with the community.

Stewart said the decision doesn’t mean the challenges in Kaslo have gone away and there will likely be interruptions in service in the months ahead.

“We now have some time to meet with community stakeholders, our physicians and staff about how best to meet Kaslo’s health care needs given ongoing challenges we are facing,” he said.

During last week’s meetings at the Union convention, Lay was told by Halpenny that Stewart and Linda Basran, Interior Health’s community director had been assigned to working with Kaslo.

“Ultimately, Interior Health’s goal is to provide Kaslo residents with a consistent and sustainable service for the long term,” said Basran. “We look forward to these upcoming discussions and how they may inform our decisions moving forward.”