RDOS healthcare framework perspective

I have spent a great deal of time on this framework and am convinced that it is a sound, comprehensive program.

I am sure we all remember that about 15 months ago we were told that our 24/7 full ER services would be cut back to weekdays and weekends only. The Town and RDOS held innumerable meetings with IHA (Interior Health Authority), petitions were circulated, signs went up, protests were staged and public meetings were held while IHA simply stated that there was nothing they could do because we did not have the doctors available to provide the service. Throughout all of it the single message I got from constituents was to get full 24/7 ER (Emergency Services) reinstated. At that time the atmosphere with IHA and this community was toxic and progress was nil. It seemed like an exercise in frustration.

In one meeting with local businessmen I well remember an individual simply saying we needed a new approach. He pointed out correctly that IHA was mandated by the province to run our hospital, that they had the money and if we were to be successful we had better work together. It now seems obvious, but sometimes the switch from fighting to communicating is a difficult process! However, over time, not only did we start to make progress we found a group of people as keen as we were to do a good job and provide the best services possible to this community. Many in the community saw what was happening and jumped on board. The local group, Support our Health Care (SOHC), held a number of community meetings, one in particular with Dr. Barbary Pesut, a noted independent UBCO health care researcher. Dr. Pesut was asked to conduct a community consultation to, among other things, make sure that we were aware of exactly what it was the community was looking for in sustainable health care. Forty key individuals from public health, our local ambulance service, community services and other community leaders attended the consultation where their views on Princeton health care were collected. A mass of data was assembled from that consultation and prepared into a report that was presented to the Town, RDOS, IHA and the public.

One suggestion put forward by Dr. Pesut was that IHA bring in a consultant to work with us to help incorporate all the ideas that had been brought forward and to use that to build a framework for a sustainable community health care system that would really work for our community.

The Town, RDOS, IHA, community representatives, our doctors and other health care professionals have worked with this consultant and over the last few months developed a framework that goes beyond what I ever thought was possible. This framework gives us the four doctors that we need to reinstate 24/7 full service ER, it will provide easier access to care, new equipment, capital building improvements, a high level of community involvement and many other benefits to our health care system. I have spent a great deal of time on this framework and am convinced that it is a sound, comprehensive program, precisely what my constituents asked me to work toward.

We expect that the document will be fully reviewed and made publicly available in the next few days not only to our residents but to interested communities throughout the Province. I apologize for the delay and the resulting misinformation being circulated by a few individuals, claiming incorrectly that the Town and RDOS taxation will increase as a result. Hospital operating expenditures are funded entirely through Provincial revenues. Our local municipal taxes will not be increased at all, while our medical services will be greatly improved. I simply ask that you wait a few days until the final document is made available to the public. At that time we invite you to read the document and judge for yourself. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Brad Hope, Director RDOS Area H


Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read