A new reason for reducing Ashcroft ER hours even more

Author thinks ER closures should justify REEF need.

RE: “Reduction in ER Hours Proposed.”

Dear Editor

I am wondering if anyone else is as confused as I am by the story in last week’s Journal informing us that our hospital does not qualify for funding to assist in keeping the ER open more hours to serve our area.

Did you all go huh? when you read the quote attributed to Community Director Bryan Redford telling us “The issue is around posted hours. That is really THE issue – what are the posted hours as it relates to this process (of applying for the grant).”

What was he talking about? Why did no one call him on that statement?

The story goes on to explain: REEF is a quarterly grant that can be used by physicians to attract locums, update ER equipment etc. but the ER must remain open during its posted hours. Ashcroft’s posted hours are 24 hours, seven days a week?

First of all, posted by whom?

If we are posted for 24/7, why aren’t we open for 24/7. Shouldn’t IHA be held responsible to see that we are open 24 hours if we are so posted?

And then further confusion comes when the news story goes on to inform us there is no grant for ER’s with closures???

But isn’t that what the grant is all about, to help find ways to keep the ER open 24/7?

The reasons for my confusion is that in reading all through the document outlining the purpose of REEF, the program objectives, the program description and the eligibility requirements I did not see anything about “posted hours” as a disqualification and I’m afraid I have to believe its a made up excuse for not getting the job done!

In quoting from the opening statement on the purpose for the REEF: “This program is intended to encourage the provision of reliable public access to emergency services in health authority designated emergency departments in rural British Columbia served by fee-for-service physicians.”

Then I go on to read, “REEF Program Objectives are: To strengthen stability of public access to hospital Emergency Department (ED) services in rural communities. To increase ED capacity, if required, by increasing the number of health care service providers supporting the hospital ED when possible. To stabilize public access to hospital ED services by effectively and efficiently integrating ED services with the health authority’s health care service delivery plans for the community and the region.

Once again we are left with the feeling that we just don’t matter!

Their excuses are just not acceptable. Solutions are what we want. That’s why IHA Administration is being paid the big bucks. They, along with the Provincial Government, should be going after the College of Physicians, not our small town councils who seem to have a hard time being heard.

Ida Makaro

Cache Creek