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

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

Seven West Kootenay projects receive over $1.7 million in provincial funding

The RDCK, Civic Theatre and Touchstones Museum are among the recipients

LETTER: Backyard hens an eggcellent idea

From readers Abby Wilson and Andrew Woodward

Stephanie Fischer awarded the Medal of Good Citizenship

Fischer was recognized for her volunteer work in Nelson

VIDEO: Robot rumble at Selkirk College

Kids from all around the Kootenays competed in the 7th annual RobotGames Saturday

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

Most Read