The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is sounding alarm bells about a possible closure of the emergency room at Boundary Regional Hospital in Grand Forks.
In a media release regarding the possible closure Wednesday, RDKB officials are officials calling for urgent action from the Provincial government to stop this decision from happening.
"The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Boundary Services Committee met today to discuss the possible closure of the emergency room at the Boundary Hospital,” said Grace McGregor, Chair of the Committee and Director for Electoral Area C/Christina Lake.
“We are extremely concerned over the possibility of patients being forced to travel over the Paulson Pass to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail or the 2-½-hours to Kelowna to receive urgent care.”
“We are putting immediate pressure on the Province of BC to address this threat to our facility and the impacts it could have on residents,” McGregor added.
The Boundary Hospital serves more than 9,000 residents in its catchment area.
The facility offers services including inpatient and emergency and is a Level 1 Community Hospital in the Kootenay Boundary health service area.
Since March 2022, the facility’s inpatient beds have been closed due to a lack of nursing staff.
McGregor said the RDKB Boundary Services Committee appreciates the tremendous ongoing efforts by Everett Baker, Mayor of Grand Forks, to advocate for his community’s health care needs.
“The whole Boundary region joins him in this fight to keep our ER,” said McGregor.
When contacted by the Boundary Sentinel, Interior Health said it does not anticipate a closure of the ER at Boundary Regional Hospital.
“Interior Health has no plans to permanently close the emergency department at Boundary District Hospital in Grand Forks,” Lannon De Best, executive director for clinical operations for the Kootenay Boundary said in an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon.
“The hospital is an important resource for the Boundary area, and we continue with our recruitment efforts to bring more health care workers to the area.”