Emergency room in Kaslo, B.C., set to cut hours

The emergency room in Kaslo, B.C., will soon only be open part time because Interior Health can't find doctors to staff the small ER.

ER to soon be open 8 hours a day Monday to Friday

The emergency room in Kaslo, B.C., will soon only be open part time.

The small ER is supposed to be open around the clock, but officials with the Interior Health Authority say they can't find doctors willing to be on call for a round-the-clock emergency room in Kaslo and do the job of a small town doctor.

“We've had a full year of trying to recruit physicians and we are no further ahead and quite frankly the 24/7 emergency room coverage has been a significant barrier for us getting physicians to come to Kaslo,” said Andrew Neuner with Interior Health.

The emergency room will soon be open just eight hours a day Monday to Friday, with back up service at hospitals in Nelson and Trail.

Local Resident Glen Stewart says the news is a real blow to health care at the north end of Kootenay Lake.

“We've been fighting to keep our ER open because we feel people's health is at risk,” he said.

“People are extremely upset here. We are the end of the line for numerous communities up the lake. And this is leaving people in a very vulnerable position.”

Local residents will get full details of the plan at a public meeting tonight.

The health authority planned to make the move last year but relented to public pressure.

There is no date set for the change but it is expected to start soon.  

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