By Joan Silver - 100 Mile House Free Press
Doctors in 100 Mile House say they are at a crisis point; they want to deliver babies in this community but are unable to.
A press release signed by the seven local doctors who provide obstetric services states that Interior Health announced an abrupt end to delivery services in January 2009, surprising expectant moms and their doctors who were not consulted.
“Although initially we had no explanation for them (patients), it now appears to us that we are facing a long-term termination, or at least a severe curtailment, of delivery services,” reads the release.
It goes on to say that the centralization of hospital administration and services that began eight years ago “has gone wrong when decisions about health care in our community of 100 Mile are taken by administrators in other centres with little attention to the input of the physicians or the people of 100 Mile House.”...[snip]
The release cites medical evidence that emphasizes the advantages of women delivering in their own community.
The doctors are asking the various provincial candidates in Cariboo-Chilcotin what they might do to resolve the impasse.
Dr. Jonathan Slater, Interior Health’s medical director for the Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap region, said IH appreciates these concerns and the health unit met with the physicians last week to discuss how a safe, consistent, quality obstetrics program can be provided for maternity patients in 100 Mile House.
They intend to continue the process and have a meeting planned for next month.
Slater said the service was suspended earlier this year (for a period of 3 months...gary e)
due to staffing challenges, particularly for operating room nurses.
“The challenges we’ve experienced with the obstetrical program this past year underscore the complexity involved in providing a consistent and safe service to our community. If even one link is missing, we have to temporarily suspend the program to ensure the service is safe and sustainable for maternity patients and their babies,” he said.
Slater said their focus has to be on providing a safe service for moms and babies and, at the present time, they don’t have the required nursing component plus the fact that the on-call anesthetist will be away in June. He said the obstetrics program also needs the support of a consistent emergency room service available when needed and IH continues to discuss this priority issue with physicians.[..snip]end.
As in everything else in this province it's being delayed. Most likely until after the election when Premier Photo-Op won't do a god damn thing about it.
Now for those who don't know the geography of the area, the nearest hospital is in Williams Lake. One hundred Kilometers away. The next closest is Royal Inland in Kamloops 190 kilometers away. And that's if you live in 100 Mile. There are many subdivisions in the outlying areas which put people another 1/2 hour or more away.
Patients are being sent to Williams Lake. They may not be ambulatory when they leave but what happens when the baby decides he's coming. Nothing on earth is going to stop him/her. There also is an added expense not covered under BC Med. That is housing while in the Puddle. There is no place for the husband to stay that won't add to an already stretched budget. I won't even get into fuel costs. Carbon Tax.
And today I saw a Premier Photo-Op campaign ad where he espoused how wonderful his centralizing program is. How wonderful it was that they are building a new hospital in Prince George. 300 plus kilometers away. How good there system is and how it is helping people.
I maintain that this is to garner votes in an area where he knows he is going to lose. All the while at the expense and endangerment of women and children where hospitals are available in more remote areas.