A Kaslo business organization is speaking out against cuts to their community's ER saying it will impact economic viability.

Kaslo business organization takes stand against ER cuts

The Chamber of Commerce is speaking out against looming cuts to their community’s ER because of what it will do to people and the economy.

Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce is speaking out against looming cuts to their community’s ER because of what it will do to people and the economy.

“This isn’t just a health issue; it’s an economic issue,” said Daphne Hunter, Chamber president. “Our local business stakeholders rely heavily on an already short summer tourism economy. The last three years have seen a substantial decrease in visitor numbers due to economics, bad weather and natural disasters. If our tourism numbers dwindle any further because visitors are worried about inadequate emergency services, local business will be forced to move to more lucrative areas.”

Interior Health proposes the ER at the Victorian Community Health Centre be reduced to the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday with after-hour and weekend coverage provided by Nelson and Trail hospitals.

The Village council took a similar stand against the planned cuts to the ER last week passing a formal non-confidence resolution.

Hunter added that cuts are in complete contradiction to IH’s promise last fall to find a way to continue ER services.

IH commissioned the Ross Report in which Dr. John Ross, a Nova Scotia physician and expert on rural health, explored the current state of health care in Kaslo. Among other things, Ross suggested ER services be maintained using remote physician support and technology.

Hunter echoed community concern saying this report has been ignored.

“It’s very frightening,” said Hunter. “The impending loss of our 24-hour emergency services risks serious long term ramifications for our community.

Hunter explained that for residents living in nearby outlying areas, the closure means a minimum drive of two hours to Nelson, in extreme cases they could be sent on to Trail another hour away.

“For a resident of Johnsons Landing, this could mean a three-hour drive in good weather to access emergency services” Hunter said. “The loss of these vital services poses severe implications for the community.”

“We’re worried this shutdown of core services is going to cause an exodus out of our community,” she said.

Hunter said the situation needs to be fixed without delay.

“The decision to shut down our emergency services has been made with little consideration — and that shows,” she said. “We’re calling on the IHA to reverse course and work with the committee and the community towards solutions that ensure critical services can be re-instated before our community suffers irreparable harm.”

Hunter noted that Kaslo & Area Chamber has spearheaded a fax and letter writing campaign to the Minister of Health and IH. She said that as a result the Chamber will be sending 187 letters to the Minister of Health and IH this week to urge IH to reverse course and maintain the 24/7 services in Kaslo.

“When hundreds of local residents come together to push for a fix, you know we’re facing a crisis,” Hunter said. “This situation is untenable for our community.”

 

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Sanchez leads Leafs to 6th straight win

Nelson held off Spokane 3-2 on Friday

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

CHECK THIS OUT: Love and e-Readers

Anne DeGrace on downloading new literary relationships

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read