Interior Health has just sent out this press release:
PRINCETON, BC – Following the successful recruitment of three new physicians, the emergency department at Princeton General Hospital will return to 24/7 service on October 11th. The new physicians will join the permanent physician and nurse practitioner at the Cascade Medical Clinic to offer primary care services. The four physicians will also share emergency department coverage.
“I am pleased 24/7 service will soon be available again to residents that find themselves in an emergency health situation–day or night,” says Jackie Tegart, Fraser-Nicola MLA. “The recruitment of the new physicians and restoration of full-time ED coverage is a direct result of the cooperative and hard work among many different stakeholders. This collaboration not only resulted in the return of full-time ED coverage but also in a long term sustainable health care plan for the community.”
The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee has developed an Action Framework, which will serve as a blueprint for developing and sustaining an effective health care model for people living in and around Princeton. Membership in the committee includes representation from Interior Health, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the Town of Princeton, physicians, the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice and the community.
“Princeton is a great example of a community that meets challenges by continuing to put its best foot forward to attract physicians and work as a vital partner in the recruitment process,” says Andrew Neuner, Community Integrated Health Services VP. “We would like to thank Princeton and area residents for their patience these past many months.”
Princeton General Hospital’s emergency department has been closed four nights a week since May 2012 due to ongoing physician shortages.
“It has been a long and sometimes difficult process,” says Brad Hope, Area H Director for Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen. “But it demonstrates very clearly just how much can be accomplished when we all work together. My profound thanks to this amazing community, to our healthcare professionals, to Interior Health and to the Province for making this happen.”
“This is great news. Reducing the ED’s hours of operation was a difficult decision but one that was done to preserve work-life balance for the community’s physicians providing coverage,” says Susan Brown, Community Integrated Health Services’ Administrator. “Sixteen months later not only is the emergency department returning to full-time service but we also have three additional physicians providing primary care to residents and accepting new patients.”