Issues are fought at different levels and the public is rarely privy to behind the scenes politicking. With the issue of the hospital and 24/7 ER there has been intrigue and “a whole lot of politics”. The original document, “An Action Framework: To Sustain an Effective Health Care Model”, given to the Stakeholders and to Town Council came from Interior Health Authority (IHA) via the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS); each was given a different document. The Stakeholders were given the document and told to approve it, all in one smooth motion. Luckily, some of the Stakeholders said no; they wanted to study the document first, hence the leak. Failure to sign meant no 24/7 ER even after all the perquisites were met. The word “secret” was implied at the Town Council Meeting of August 8th. When one citizen present asked if he could have a copy, he was told no. Why a secret? It’s not a secret I was told afterwards, but no document would be forthcoming.
Enter the third document. Oops, IHA gave out the wrong document. Silly of them; they are only human? You think! What Princeton gets is a Primary Care Facility, a Clinic. Clinics do not have 24/7 ER, they do not have Obstetrics, nor simple surgery. According to the newspaper reporting everyone is happy. What a fantastic framework, IHA has developed. It reads and sounds like what every rural community has gotten. All it involves is changing the names here and there to make it relevant. Doctors, except for one, were never informed that they would help develop the framework. Hello, is there some misinformation here?
Yes, we have 4 doctors. Yes, we have achieved the goal of hiring 4 doctors, so there could be a 1 in 4 rotation, a condition before 24/7 ER could be restored. So why isn’t it open? We have the locums and our available doctors have volunteered. What are we waiting for?
Before all the people in the newspaper take credit for all the achievements, there needs be acknowledgement of the “heart of the community” and organizations that have worked tirelessly to make things happen. Two of them, The Senior Citizens and SOS (Save our Similkameen) don’t need the glory, but fair is fair. Those names are missing from the submitted articles. The community just wants to see that the people get the healthcare it deserves and pays for. A clinic doesn’t cut it.
Mary Masiel, Princeton