LETTER: Communities fail to thrive without 24/7 coverage

Rural communities without 24/7 emergency services will fail to thrive, depopulate and are doomed to be unviable communities.

Re: “New Interior Health boss seeks ‘wise counsel’”

Interior Health Authority CEO Chris Mazurkewich is quoted as saying he “doubted we will return to the days when every rural community had round-the-clock emergency service.”

I find this this type of thinking extremely alarming. It essentially means those Canadian citizens who live and work in the rural heartland of BC must do so without vital local 24/7 emergency services. Doctors know how devastating a diagnosis of “failure to thrive can be. Rural communities without 24/7 emergency services will fail to thrive, depopulate and are doomed to be unviable communities.

When the federal government writes out the cheque for their share of the BC health care system I hope they will ensure the government of BC will agree to address the issue of rural community 24/7 emergency services first.

Rural BC provides the natural resources which allow urban centres to thrive. Given the advances in 21st century emergency care, I see no reason rural communities cannot be provided 24/7 emergency services in their communities

You may find the following document of interest: Review of the Role of Emergency Services at Victorian Community HealthCentre at Kaslo, by John Ross, MD FRC, Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University.

Greg Lay, Kaslo

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