Princeton Hospital needs to change

Limited emergency room service at the Princeton Hospital is not only inconvenient, it's dangerous and is bad for tourism.

Last week I drove a family back to Princeton whose van had flipped over in Manning Park. The van’s windows had smashed and their luggage was thrown across the road by the time I got to them.

The family was shaken up, but everyone seemed to be OK.

They wanted to get checked by a doctor just in case – they had been thrown around violently when the van flipped while driving around an icy corner.

On the way back, I told them the Princeton Hospital was in “LLTO” status, meaning only someone who had a life threatening injury or who was losing a limb would be seen by a doctor.

Since they weren’t badly injured, they would have to see a doctor in Penticton or Hope to be treated.

Even if one of them had broken a leg or arm, a doctor wouldn’t have treated them at the hospital.

Needless to say, the family was very surprised.

They decided to wait to see a doctor until they reached Mission, on their way to the Vancouver airport.

But they shouldn’t have to wait.

Princeton Hospital is the first hospital you reach after driving through Manning Park. It should have a  fully operational emergency room for people who get hurt while on that dangerous stretch of road.

It’s unreasonable to make people travel an hour and a half to Penticton, especially when they’ve already spent time driving through Manning Park.

A lot of accidents in Manning Park are bad enough to destroy vehicles – this is what happened to the family I helped.

What if one of them had cut their arm or broke their leg? Or what if one of the children had a concussion?

The Princeton Hospital emergency room should be available to help them.

Driving an hour and a half to Penticton doesn’t cut it.