Listen Live

HomeNewsRural healthcare challenges pressing for local politicians

Rural healthcare challenges pressing for local politicians

Access to healthcare in rural communities is front of mind for many people in the region, including local politicians.

“This province is in an undeniable crisis when it comes to healthcare,” said Columbia-River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok at a Sept. 8 RDEK board meeting.

“Wait times are abysmal, we hear from people who are waiting up to a year to see a specialist. It’s resulting in horrible outcomes.”

One of the main areas of concern is residents having to travel long distances for treatment instead of being able to access care in Alberta.

- Advertisement -

“It’s unfair for people in rural B.C. to be travelling 1,000 kilometres over six mountain passes in the dead of winter to get access to health care,” said Kootenay-East MLA Tom Shypitka.

Clovechok said a resolution between the two provinces is still possible.

“There is hope,” he said. “There is always hope.”

Sparwood mayor David Wilks is less hopeful.

“I am glad you are optimistic MLA Clovechok in regards to Alberta/BC potential of health-related issues because I’m not.”

He said the province could resolve the issue.

“British Columbia can fix it,” Wilks added.

“They can fix it tomorrow if they want to. They don’t want to, because they don’t want to put out the money. I think there is a great opportunity for the province of British Columbia regardless of whose in power to step up and say this is the right thing to do.”

Wilks said radiation needs to be added at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital which is set to have a new tower constructed.

“We have to send patients now to Washington because we can’t service the need that we have,” he said.

“But we’re not willing to even look at the opportunity when we have one staring us in the face here in Cranbrook, with a new tower going to be built for oncology and renal, and not even look at radiation. It’s insane.”


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Continue Reading