ER closed during high risk events like rodeo

Readers thinks it's shocking that the IHA has left Ashcroft without Emergency Room coverage on big event weekends.

Dear Editor

How would anyone think that it was okay to have no emergency hospital coverage in Ashcroft on Rodeo weekend?

Rodeo, by definition, involves some high risk activities that can result in serious injury. Our town grew considerably in population for the weekend. It always does, and particularly this year as we celebrated our Rodeo’s 50th Anniversary. Three hundred forty-four rodeo entries and sell out crowds Saturday and Sunday meant hundreds of additional residents, not to mention the crowds and participants at the Eagleplex Raceway and the increasing tourist traffic on the Trans-Canada and always present truck traffic.

Emergency Room hours in Ashcroft have been steadily decreasing. Now we are told that emergency hours of operation will no longer be posted in the local newspaper. Why? Does Interior Health hope we won’t notice this decrease? This past weekend our community played host to probably the largest event in our year and we could not provide emergency medical services. It simply is not good enough.

It seems that when residents are not making noise and demanding better services that we see this kind of slippage. We ALL need to demand better. As our hospital provides less and less service, we are endangering the wellbeing of more than our physical health. We are endangering the very survival of our community.

Jo-Anne Portman