Funds for hospitals still available

Interior Health says REEF funding is still available.

Dear Editor

I’m writing in response to a recent news article and letter to the editor regarding the Rural Emergency Enhancement Fund (REEF).

The REEF program was created in the summer of 2011 to provide financial assistance for rural, fee-for-service physicians who commit to ensure reliable public access to emergency services is maintained at their local hospital. Funding can be used in a variety of ways, including hiring of additional physicians, incentives for weekends or nights, and purchasing equipment.

Earlier this year, when the Provincial Government announced successful applicants to REEF, they noted the announcement was for the successful applicants “to date”. Funding was announced for 36 physician groups at that time. In total, there are approximately 60 physician groups across British Columbia eligible for REEF.

Interior Health fully appreciates the challenges facing a number of rural communities in regards to emergency services, and subsequently, is committed to pursuing potential physician applications for all eligible sites, including Ashcroft.

I trust this clarifies the situation.

Jeremy Etherington, MD

VP – Medicine & Quality,

Interior Health