B.C. ER doctors declare emergency

Twenty six BC hospitals are listed on the site including Penticton Regional and Kelowna General Hospital

Emergency room doctors from around the province, frustrated with overcrowded  ERs and shortage of doctors to care for the patients have declared an emergency.

Tired of what they claim as the governments ‘slapdash approach to ER medicine’, BC doctors have joined forces, forming a website to promote the BC ER Treatment Plan, and to ask for support.

The website explains the emergency, the BC ER Treatment Plan, offers tips for visiting the ER and gives both doctors and residents the opportunity to share their experiences. The site also contains ER Report Cards based on ER doctors experience and knowledge.

Twenty six BC hospitals are listed on the site including Penticton Regional and Kelowna General Hospital, both of which frequently serve Princeton and area patients, largely due to the four nights per week Princeton ER closure that began almost a year ago.

Penticton Regional received a ‘fair’ grading when it came to overcrowding, (waiting to see doctor…physician staffing deficiency) but got a definite ‘fail’ for not enough doctors. This hospital is ‘choked’ by over 100 percent capacity. Kelowna General received a big ‘fail’ grade for overcrowding, access block and not enough doctors.

Kelowna General is as well, ‘choked’ by over 100 percent capacity.

While speaking of ER experiences in a video on the website, Dr. Alec Ritchie describes feelings he has while walking down a hall with patients lined up along both sides, “We (the doctors) can see and hear the suffering… we can feel their pain, to the point where it actually causes us pain too.” We just can’t stand to see the suffering, the human suffering anymore. This is enough, we can’t stand it anymore.”

BC ER doctors have decided that, ‘government excuses aren’t enough—we all need government to take action on a  lasting solution.’

The doctors involved have come up with a five point plan based on a proven model pioneered by New Zealand, Australia and England. They believe the model to be “cost effective, comprehensive and corroborated.”

The BC ER Treatment Plan

Now and Over the Short-term:

1. Increase physician staffing in ERs to reflect increased ER patient visits.

2. Make annual adjustments to ER physician staffing to ensure safe patient care.

3. Set and enforce standards regarding how long sick ER patients wait for an inpatient bed.

4. Continue and expand initiatives that will reduce the number of ER visits that could otherwise be served by other practitioners.

5. Hold administrators in Ministry of Health and Health Authorities accountable for meeting the standards set.


Make honest and realistic plans to increase hospital beds to achieve regular hospital occupancy rates that do not exceed 85%.

Hospitals don’t work well when they are always full. We cannot assume that not a single extra person will get sick today and need a bed for care. It will take a long time to get there, but we must start with a plan.

Visit www.bcemergencycare.com to learn more and to view the full BC ER Treatment Plan.



Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

Most Read