About 100 people attended a protest rally on mid September in Kaslo. Gathered around the ‘Doctors Please’ sign are Ken Hart

Kaslo ER given reprieve as IH considers doctor proposal

Interior Health has put on hold plans to change emergency department hours at the Kaslo hospital.

Interior Health has put on hold plans to change emergency department hours at the Kaslo hospital.

Cuts to ED hours were slated to occur on January 6 but IH has postponed this change to April 1 in order to “fully consider a new proposal presented by a group of physicians interested in continuing 24/7 coverage” said a release issued Friday.

The decision to hold off on the change was made after a mix of physicians having experience in the region, and at the site, and others they hope to collaborate with informed Interior Health that they want to explore a fee-for-service rather than contract compensation model.

“Interior Health has remained open to solutions that ensure Kaslo and area residents have good access to high quality primary care and to the emergency services they need,” said Dr. Michael Purdon, Executive Medical Director, Community and Residential Services in a release. “More discussions are needed to see if we have found an answer to the long-standing staffing challenges at the Kaslo health centre, and we felt it was important to hold off on any permanent changes to see if there is an alternative solution.”

The emergency department in Kaslo has been shut down periodically over the past year — 38 times between January 1 and November 1, 2013. Of those times; 27 were due to the lack of physician coverage with closure periods varying from overnight to several days at a time.

As staffing allows, the Kaslo emergency department will be open 24/7 while discussions about a potential new model take place.

“We anticipate discussions over the next three months or so will allow us to see what is possible to best meet the health care needs of the Kaslo area,” said Andrew Neuner, IH Vice President, Community Integrated Health Services. “It is encouraging to have a group of physicians committed to having these discussions with us. This will allow us the time needed to thoroughly examine the options for physician coverage and ensure that we also have the appropriate staffing plan in place.”

Maggie Winters is part of the Kaslo and Area Health Care Working Group which has been asking IH to wait on cuts while the physician’s proposal was considered.

“We’ve been working with Interior Health and trying to convince them it made no sense to shut the ER down at this point in time when we had a real potential for a group that was willing to keep it open,” she said. “We wanted some breathing room for those physicians to try and put this together… The 90 days is going to give that group time to see if this is going to work.”

She said seeing results come from their hard work makes her “extremely happy.”

“I am cautiously optimistic,” she said. “It’s a nice Christmas present for the village. We were happy we were able to help make this happen.”

 

 

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