Nelson council fears that a strategic planning process initiated by Castlegar could call into question Interior Health's investments at Kootenay Lake Hospital.

Nelson uninterested in Castlegar’s acute care strategic plan

Council fears such a plan would endorse a central hospital model for all acute care

Nelson council is following the City of Trail’s lead by declining to take part in a Castlegar-funded initiative to develop a strategic plan on acute care — for fear such a plan would endorse a central hospital model for all acute care and jeopardize surgical services offered at Kootenay Lake Hospital.

Castlegar recently hired consultant Jim Gustafson to solicit input from the 30 local governments in the Kootenay Boundary Health Region regarding future Interior Health investments in acute care planning and potential future capital investments within the region.

A questionnaire distributed by Gustafson was discussed at a recent Nelson city council meeting, where Mayor John Dooley was quick to point out that Castlegar’s strategic planning initiative isn’t endorsed by Interior Health nor the West Kootenay Boundary Hospital Board.

He suggested responding, as the City of Trail did, with a letter outlining support for the status quo of maintaining acute care services at both the Nelson and Trail hospitals.

“We support the model that Interior Health has offered up to refurbish the existing facilities,” Dooley said. “The last thing we’d want is a loss of our [hospital] site in Nelson.”

The mayor, who represents Nelson on the hospital board, is worried Castlegar’s effort will disrupt the cohesion of the hospital board that took years to achieve.

“In my opinion, this particular type of initiative plays right into the hands of Interior Health. They’ve leveraged the fracture in the West Kootenay Boundary area for many, many years,” he said.

In a report to council, Gustafson wrote that the mission of the strategic planning process is to “advance discussion on acute care services and infrastructure amongst local governments” and “will not determine what or where investments are necessary.”

Gustafson plans to finalize a strategic plan by September, then present it to the hospital board, Interior Health and the province.

The current two-site hospital model for acute care allows some daycare surgeries to be performed at Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson, while more involved procedures that require overnight or longer term care are performed only at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.

 

Below is the full report Gustafson prepared to explain to acute care planning initiative:

Just Posted

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback to play Nelson

The duo will be at the Civic Theatre on May 31

Grease comes to the Capitol Theatre

The production runs Thursday to Sunday

COLUMN: Watching water, thinking about elections

Columnist Donna Macdonald spoke to Prince George councillor Jillian Merrick about inclusiveness

UPDATE: City opens emergency operations centre

Lakeside Park, its sports fields, and parts of the waterfront could soon be underwater

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Wildfire sparks near perimeter of devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

Most Read