The local BC Nurses' Union rep says there are solutions for the predicament the Kaslo ER finds itself in

Balance from both sides needed in Kaslo ER mess

The back-to-back front page headlines in consecutive Nelson Star editions tell the story about the delicate balance of health care.

The back-to-back front page headlines in consecutive Nelson Star editions tell the story about the delicate balance of health care in rural BC.

Celebration over the new ER in Nelson on Friday, panic over service cuts to the Kaslo ER in today’s edition. Ribbon cuttings on the south end of Kootenay Lake, a staffing riddle on the north end.

Interior Health tells us that the situation of cutting hours at the Victorian Community Health Centre in Kaslo is a last resort. Not enough funding and not enough doctors to provide 24/7 coverage. This isn’t a case of trimming service to save a buck, according to Interior Health, it’s about finding the people to staff the small ER.

In this story you can read about the BC Nurses’ Union reaction to the cuts. Local rep Tina Coletti says there are solutions, but Interior Health doesn’t want to listen.

Standing loudly in the fray is Kaslo mayor Greg Lay who is rallying the community to stand up for the services. The village council has vowed to find ways to restore the 24/7 coverage so that residents of the small community can feel safe when they go to bed at night.

If the new ER at Kootenay Lake Hospital is an example of a health care success story, those fighting to restore the Kaslo service should use it as a beacon.

Nelson’s sliver of modern age of health care arrived via patience and dialogue. When the Liberals first hacked services at Kootenay Lake Hospital, zealous advocates and unions saw red. There were vigils, die-ins and plenty of shouting. Interior Health ignored it all. Rage rarely wins the day.

What the bureaucrats listen to is a balanced approach and compromise. Interior Health is far from a compassionate organization, but those who make decisions are not totally unreasonable.

Kaslo residents are right to be upset and they should voice their concerns. The nurses’ union is proposing some reasonable alternatives. What is needed now is respectful dialogue and a solution-based approach.


Just Posted

Smoky skies force flight cancellations

Air quality in West Kootenay also a health concern

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Columbia River Treaty negotiators met in Nelson this week

Next session is in Portland in October

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

RCMP nab prolific car thief after month-long, B.C.-wide search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Most Read