Protesters have gathered outside the Princeton Hospital to voice their opposition to scheduled emergency department closures taking place four times a week.
Interior Health representatives are expected to meet today with Acting Mayor Jason Earle, business leaders and the Upper Similkameen Indian Band.
A rally organized by Save Our Hospital is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today at the hospital.
“We don’t want our hospital services undermined any further. In fact, I would like to see improvements,” said Johanna Nott, who held a sign on the side of Highway 3 saying “We all need 24/7 ER.”
Other signs line the highway warning drivers the Princeton Hospital emergency department isn’t open 24/7.
“I want to make people on the highway think about their safety, especially when the emergency department isn’t open all the time.”
Princeton Hospital emergency department will be closed from midnight to 8 a.m. Monday to Thursday for around a year, announced Interior Health Authority at the beginning of April.
Nott also said having a 24/7 emergency department is vital because of Princeton mining and forestry industries.
Princeton resident Joe Bell, who is also protesting today, said he is considering leaving Princeton because his wife has multiple sclerosis and needs to be closer to medical care.
“When we first moved here, we had an operating room and babies could be born here. Now we have neither,” he said.