Grand Forks city council discusses hospital staffing with Interior Health

The inpatient area of the Boundary District Hospital was closed on March 23 due to safety reasons

Grand Forks council met with Interior Health representatives on June 13 to discuss staffing concerns at the Boundary District Hospital. (Interior Health logo)

Grand Forks council met with Interior Health representatives on June 13 to discuss staffing concerns at the Boundary District Hospital. (Interior Health logo)

Grand Forks city council discussed staffing at the Boundary District Hospital in a committee of the whole meeting on Monday, June 13.

Two representatives from Interior Health, Lannon de Best and Shallon Letwin attended the meeting via Zoom to speak with council.

Councillor Christine Thompson led the discussion. She prepared a list of questions to ask Interior Health on behalf of council.

Thompson expressed concerns that there is a lack of care available at the Boundary District Hospital due to unvaccinated employees being laid off.

“If vaccination requirements are lifted, will they bring these employees back in order to make our hospital what it was before?”

Interior health representatives responded that the vaccination policy is currently in place, and that Interior Health will review the policy if vaccination requirements change.

Councillor Everett Baker asked Interior Health for an update.

“March 23 was when we made the announcement that for safety reasons, we would be temporarily closing the inpatient area.” De Best said.

De Best explained that Interior Health is currently working to recruit new staff into the inpatient area at Boundary Hospital in order to reopen it again.

Thompson also asked if Interior Health would consider operating on a regional or local basis.

“Interior Health also covers an extremely large area,” she said. “Would you consider that it’s time for the Ministry to reconsider health areas and return to a more local or regional health board?”

Letwin explained that a changes such as that need to be discussed with the government.

Thompson suggested that council meet with their MLA, the Premier, and the Ministry of Health to discuss their concerns.

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@audreyygunn
editor@grandforksgazette.ca

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