Brief: ‘Staffing crisis’ leads to closures and reduction of services at rural Interior Health facilities

Interior Health says 'staffing crisis' leads to closures and curtailments of rural facilities in order to deploy staff to deal with Omicron wave.

A treatment room in Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine file photo

Interior Health is temporarily closing some rural health facilities and restricting hours and services at more in order to redeploy staff to essential service locations as the Omicron-driven COVID-19 wave strains the health care system.

The closures include more surgery cancellations, including rescheduling of all non-urgent surgeries.

Here is a list of closures:

· Closing inpatient services in Clearwater, Invermere, and Lillooet to stabilize emergency departments in those communities;

· Reducing overnight hours at the Ashcroft Community Health Centre and the Slocan Community Health Centre in New Denver to stabilize daytime services in those communities;

· Closing the Barriere and District Health Centre to redeploy staff to nearby emergency departments;

· Temporarily rescheduling all non-urgent surgeries; temporarily reducing services across IH to some outpatient services; some primary care services, adult day programs and some non-urgent home health services.

In a statement, Interior Health CEO said: “We will resume normal operations in impacted communities as soon as possible and in the meantime, we are temporarily reassigning and redeploying staff to sustain essential services throughout the region.”

For more, see an Interior Health statement here.

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have or call/text him at 250-814-8710.