An open letter to residents from the Princeton Hospital Steering Committee:

Steering committee provides update on current issues being addressed by the committee.

It would appear on reading your newspapers, that health remains a priority issue, as it should, in Princeton and Area H. First, a call by SOHC for a demonstration in support of our Canadian Healthcare system under threat by our Federal Government, followed by Interior Health confirming their support in alleviating difficulties at the Cascade Clinic, and, finally, a letter by a concerned citizen about his “doctor dilemma.”

Following the work done in successfully developing our Cascade Medical Clinic, IHA, SOHC and representatives of our local governments set up a Hospital Steering Committee.  It is made up of representatives of IHA, our local governments, private citizens and our doctors and hospital staff.  Its purpose is to address all concerns of the community, as well as those of our doctors and hospital staff, with respect to our hospital, the clinic and the ER.

Current issues being addressed by the Steering Committee include:

A) Transportation: volunteer transportation services to and from the clinic; volunteer transportation services to and from Penticton and Kelowna for appointments.

B) Cascade Clinic: (a work in progress): continued improvements and renovation of clinic space to meet requirements and an improved telephone system.

C) Clinic Support staff: hiring of additional staff to assist the medical staff in the management of the clinic, thus liberating doctors and nurses to attend to more patients; this includes the transfer of all medical records to an electronic data base.

D) Doctors, nurses practioners and nurses: presently our medical staff is overwhelmed with the length of patient consultations required for all “new” patients. As medical histories become known, it is expected that consultations will be shorter and medical staff will be able to accommodate more patients; recruitment, turn-over, rest and recreation of our medical personnel.

E) ER: the ER is operational 24/7 unless otherwise advised. It is manned by our medical staff, thus limiting their time for patient consultation.  Wait time at the ER can be long or short depending on two factors; a serious emergency or the ER is used as a ‘walk-in’ clinic.  This is to be discouraged.

F) Princeton and Area residents and patients-hints on calling the clinic: be patient and explain exactly which doctor you wish to meet. Be specific as to the reasons as emphasized by the IHA. When all else fails, you may contact the Nurse Help Line by dialing 811 for health advice and information.

G) Comments or complaints: Princeton and Area residents will be best served if comments or complaints about the operations of the Cascade Clinic and hospital if they address their signed letters to the Steering Committee c/o the Princeton General Hospital or e-mail comments to comments@princetonhealth.ca. Anonymous complaints will not be considered or given attention.

Respectfully,

Princeton Hospital Steering Committee

John Akerley, member for Area H

Judy Short, member for the Town of Princeton