Patient care and surgeries at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital will be impacted by the recent surge in COVID cases.
Susan Brown, CEO of the Interior Health Authority (IHA) announced the cutting of services due to staff shortages on Jan. 18, but did not comment on the status of care at the hospital or Kiro Wellness Centre in Trail.
IHA replied to a Trail Times inquiry confirming staff shortages, paused services and delayed surgeries at KBRH due to COVID.
“Interior Health is making temporary service adjustments to strengthen patient care due to Omicron-related COVID-19 staffing challenges,” an IH spokesperson told the Times.
“This includes reducing some outpatient services at KBRH such as some ambulatory care services, along with the outpatient heart function clinic and diabetes clinic at Kiro Wellness Centre.”
In addition, all non-urgent surgeries have been postponed at KBRH, but urgent and emergency surgeries are continuing.
Health minister Adrian Dix said that nearly 18,000 health-care workers across B.C. had required at least one sick day between Jan. 10 to 16.
COVID cases have increased in the Kootenay Boundary regional health area, affecting hospital staff as much as residents.
Brown said that COVID-19 and the recent Omicron surge were the reasons for staff sickness, but wasn’t able to say how many Interior Health employees had been impacted. The ones who are healthy, she said, are being redeployed where necessary.
IHA urges residents to continue to follow provincial health orders and guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your community and get your booster dose as soon as you receive an invitation to book.”