Kaslo and Interior Health have reached an understanding of sorts over the community health centre.

Interior Health apologizes to Kaslo

A solution may have been found for the Kaslo hospital following a meeting between Mayor Greg Lay and Interior Health’s CEO.

A solution may have been found for the Kaslo hospital following a meeting between Mayor Greg Lay and Interior Health Authority CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny in a pre-arranged meeting early Monday.

Based on the meeting, Lay said he is “cautiously optimistic” the two groups will find a suitable solution.

“The conversation started with an apology for the manner in which they had come to the community and announced the reduced ER hours,” said Lay from Victoria on Wednesday, where he is attending the Union of BC Municipalities convention. “When someone starts the conversation with an apology their credibility goes up, because now there is recognition there is an issue.”

Interior Health announced this month that as of November 2, Kaslo’s 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.

Lay said on Monday he and councillors Jim Holland and Rob Lang presented two prepared statements to Halpenny on behalf of the community.

“Our council had passed a resolution requesting a moratorium be placed on their decision and we want to be part of consultations as to what the emergency services in Kaslo would look like,” he said. “On the issue of our participation, Halpenny made a commitment to appoint two people to work with our team.”

Kaslo’s newly formed negotiation team recognizes there is a problem with the way service has been provided at the hospital, but is committed to being part of the solution, Lay said.

Interior Health has appointed Linda Basran and Dr. Alan Stewart to work with the Kaslo team to find a solution to the current emergency room issues.

Since a public meeting was held in Kaslo this month, Lay said he has heard two doctors are interested in coming to the community and providing on-call and after hours services.

Lay also hopes they will be able to look into the availability of nurse practitioners.

“We’d really like to see the model [Interior Health] used and how did they get to the model,” he said. “We have no knowledge of what their budgets were. We understand their rationale. The way the ER was running was unsustainable. It’s difficult to find doctors who will work in a rural community, but we want to work through that.”

In Victoria this week, Lay heard from other communities who have faced similar problems.

“At UBCM other rural communities are struggling with the same issue. It’s been quite interesting the amount of support we’ve received,” he said. “There is a resolution coming before the Union that identifies the issue. The recommendation is to endorse the resolution recognizing this is an issue that needs to be addressed, not just in Kaslo’s case, but all over BC we need to find solutions.”

Kaslo’s negotiating team will meet with Basran and Stewart, and while Lay said there isn’t a definite timeline, he hoped a solution could be found soon.

Interior Health couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Just Posted

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Nelson to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate into new year

Medical cannabis dispensaries won’t be penalized for operating until their recreational applications are heard

Nelson Curling Club still suffering financially

The club posted a nearly $20,000 loss last year, announced at its AGM on Sunday

Over $25,000 raised for Columbia Basin literacy

Success for 2018 Books for Kids campaign

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

#hotscoops #hotscoops #hotscoops

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Most Read