At a meeting held in Princeton on Thursday, July 12 with Interior Health Authority and the Stakeholders Table (Similkameen Valley Representatives’ Table) Acting Mayor Jason Earle and RDOS Area representative Brad Hope, developed a funding solution with a program called REEF (Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund).
It is hoped that by accessing these funds that 24/7 Emergency Room (ER) services will be restored to the Princeton General Hospital.
Industry has put forward bridge-funding as a temporary stop-gap measure to assist in the acquisition of locums to cover the ER until REEF funding is in place.
The Stakeholders Table has been working actively to come up with solutions to the doctor recruitment and retention issue. One of the solutions decided upon was providing a residence for locums.
During the regular meeting of council on Monday, July 16 a motion was passed by Coun. Maynard and seconded by Coun. Harkness to lease a home for locums. The motion was carried.
It was agreed by council to enter into a lease agreement with Fred and Company Builders Inc., to lease a townhouse, fully furnished and maintained for $2200 per month. Cost for which to be split between the Town of Princeton and the RDOS.
Acting Mayor Jason Earle stated that their goal was to have this complete by August 1 and that he was “very pleased to be working together with the RDOS.”
Finding solutions to the immediate ER situation is top priority for the Stakeholders Table, however they are working on long term solutions at the same time.