Protesters held a second rally in a week as Interior Health Authority representatives met privately with Princeton town council on May 28.
A crowd asked IHA employees how they were planning to bring back 24/7 emergency department care to Princeton.
“We’re here to send Interior Health… a message that if they’re not going to come to our community with a solution, we’re done talking with them,” said Save Our Hospital Coalition president Spencer Coyne at the rally.
Save Our Similkameen president Solana Allison said she didn’t expect the meeting to produce a solution.
“We have heavy industry that runs 24/7 shifts, but we have no 24/7 ER. Employers are concerned with issues with liability and concerned with workers’ safety,” she said.
Two external agencies will be used to help recruit locums, said Acting Mayor Jason Earle.
“IHA and town council are going to be working together to find a stable solution for years to come,” he said.
The trick to providing complete ER coverage is to attract locums and eventually a new doctor, said IHA senior medical director Jon Slater after the meeting.
“The long-term (solution) is to bring physicians to town to establish practice… In the short-term we need to get people from out of town to help us out,” he said.
Protesters held a rally on May 22 when Interior Health representatives met with local business managers and politicians.
Princeton Hospital emergency department is closed from midnight to 8 a.m. Monday to Thursday.
Video by Lisa Carleton and Michaela Garstin