Interior Health Authority (IHA) president Chris Mazurkewich and other IHA members met with 100 Mile District General Hospital staff on June 7 to discuss the need for more long-term care beds.
It was part of an IHA initiative to meet with local physicians and politicians to discuss the status of care for senior patients.
The issue of not having enough long-term care beds in 100 Mile House has been a concern since 2011.
After Mayor Mitch Campsall met with IHA staff in September 2011, he was not pleased with how the health authority ranked 100 Mile in its list of priority communities.
“I don’t think they really put as much effort into small communities as they do into large communities.”
Mazurkewich says he is taking this trip with his colleagues to observe and address each community’s issues “hands on.”
“The population is changing. There are more people over the age of 60 now than there are people under the age of 17.
“We understand the need to open more senior care facilities.”
Questions about having more beds and other pressing issues were asked by hospital staff, which impressed Director of the Cariboo Acute Health Service Barb Tymchuk.
“The staff was quite receptive and the questions were very probing and thoughtful.”
Mazurkewich says one reason he enjoys this initiative is to meet with hospital staff face-to-face.
“It gives us a chance to listen and understand how [IHA] is doing and how it can improve.”
The health authority’s current plan is to have 200 new long-term care beds constructed and shipped to hospitals and care centres in need of new beds throughout the British Columbia Interior, Mazurkewich explains.
“There is an increasing need for residential care beds and we are looking at the communities with the highest needs.”
When it came to where 100 Mile House stood in that list, Mazurkewich says the decision is still in process.
“We are still visiting different hospitals and accounting for what is needed. We will make a public report when we have gathered all the information we need.”
The IHA is scheduled to make a public announcement about the status of
the beds within the next 30 days.