Healthcare workers at Fischer Place prepare to load patient wheelchairs as the site is evacuated as a “proactive measure” ahead of increasing wildfire activity on Sunday, Aug. 15. (Yoka Brondjik photo - submitted).

Healthcare workers at Fischer Place prepare to load patient wheelchairs as the site is evacuated as a “proactive measure” ahead of increasing wildfire activity on Sunday, Aug. 15. (Yoka Brondjik photo - submitted).

Wing closed at Fischer Place due to lack of staffing

Ongoing staffing crisis at 100 Mile District General Hospital a contributing factor

The closure of a 14-bed wing at Fischer Place in 100 Mile House this month has one health care worker sharing concerns about the “very serious” lack of staff at the hospital.

According to Interior Health, the decision to close the wing stemmed from existing empty beds throughout the facility, and “by cohorting them together, we can provide more efficient staffing coverage across the care home.”

However, an employee at 100 Mile and District Hospital, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Free Press the closure was due to lack of staff.

“We were in a staffing crisis before the pandemic, and now it’s only gotten worse,” the employee said, noting that fewer beds for seniors at Fischer Place results in “more seniors living in acute, which costs the system way more money.”

The employee also expressed concerns about the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all healthcare workers in B.C., which comes into effect Oct. 26. Although the employee is in favour of the mandate, they said they are worried that it will prompt colleagues who don’t want to get vaccinated to quit, which would result in a further staffing crisis.

“It’s been horribly stressful for healthcare workers,” they said.

A spokesperson with Interior Health said that it was “premature” to speculate how the vaccination policy might impact staffing at 100 Mile District General Hospital, and said the hospital “continues to provide excellent care” to its patients.

“100 Mile House, much like many communities across the country, has vacant health care positions that we are working diligently to fill,” the spokesperson said. “Interior Health continues to strategize and work with our partners to ensure fill any vacant position as quickly as possible.”



melissa,smalley@100milefreepress.net

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