New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

One day after announcing it was limiting hours for New Denver’s emergency ward, Interior Health says it will keep the facility operating 24/7 after all.

Interior Health announced late Thursday it was delaying its plan to change the 24/7 service at the Slocan Community Health Care Centre to a 9-5, Monday to Friday schedule.

The change was to take effect Feb. 1.

READ MORE: New Denver losing 24/7 emergency care

IH says the change is being postponed until the spring, while officials try to find more doctors for the community. They also plan to hold more talks on a long-term service model that will meet local health care needs.

The postponement, however, will depend on physician availability, says an Interior Health representative.

“While we continue to face significant physician staffing challenges, elected officials and representatives from the community were clear in our discussions yesterday that they felt more time was needed to prepare for a change to current emergency department services,” says Karen Bloemink, executive director IH-East, Hospitals and Communities Integrated Services. “Based on that feedback, we will do everything possible to keep the emergency department open while additional discussions take place in the months ahead.”

With only one permanent physician in place, IH warns there may still be temporary interruptions to emergency department services at the New Denver facility. Interior Health says it will let the community know if any temporary closures are necessary due to limited physician staffing.

Right now the community has only one permanent doctor, who has been supported by locums since September. IH said that model was unsustainable, and that’s why it made the decision to reduce hours at the SCHC’s emergency department.

Interior Health says it will continue to work closely with BC Emergency Health Services to ensure residents in the Slocan Valley have access to timely emergency care at alternate sites during potential interruptions to normal 24/7 emergency department service.

Bloemink says Interior Health will also continue to meet regularly with community representatives on recruitment for new physicians and on ways to provide the best possible health services to local residents.

Just Posted

City of Fernie gets curlers back on the ice

City, Fernie Curling Club to share cost of $95,000 refrigeration mats to address leaks

Fernie outdoor rink to open December 17

City approves user fees for private rental of Outdoor Community Rink

Huge snowstorm headed for Elk Valley

Mainroad issues weather event advisory with up to 25cm expected over the next 24 hours

Fernie fatbiking season in full swing

Riders hit the trails on Global Fatbike Day

Fernie man receives federal fire service medal

Kim Sedrovic is retiring from Fernie Fire Rescue after 25 years with the service

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Man charged after B.C house fire triggers high-grade explosives

Thomas Daniel Kendall charged with causing bodily harm by failing to properly store explosives

Most Read