Interior Health (IH) says they never had the intention of closing the Boundary District Hospital ER.
The announcement comes following a Nov. 16 statement where local elected officials called for urgent action from the province regarding the possible closure of the ER.
In response, Lannon De Best, executive director for clinical operations for the Kootenay Boundary, released a statement saying that despite the staffing shortages in Grand Forks, “ Interior Health never had any intent to close the local emergency department.”
On Nov. 23, IH also introduced a series of new financial incentives to bring more frontline health care workers to the Grand Forks area.
“The local team and I are working incredibly hard every day to ensure the emergency department is staffed,” said De Best.
“While we continue to recruit, it is still possible that we face brief interruptions to normal emergency services if staff are not available, but we are committed to avoiding these whenever possible and, if not, ensuring they are limited in time – 12 hours or fewer.”
Grand Forks’ mayor, Everett Baker, says he is pleased that IH is stepping up.
“I commend Interior Health for putting forward these new retention and hiring bonuses and things to encourage RNs (registered nurses) and staff to move, to relocate here to Grand Forks to help us out,” Baker told the Grand Forks Gazette during a phone call.
“I’m hopeful that this will result in the ER continuing to operate and hopefully, at one point, the reinstatement of our intake beds as well. The proof will be in the pudding.”