Chris Mazurkewich, President and CEO of Interior Health at South Okanagan General Hospital Friday meeting staff, local elected officials, supporters like Oliver Kiwanis and the Hospital Auxiliary (Thift Shop).
Topic – Regional Hospital District funding for a 1 million dollar reno project for the Emergency Ward (ER). Mazurkewich says it is a crazy notion to think that the local hospital would ever close with the amount of money being spent on its maintenance and upgrades.
Topic – Opiod crisis – how many deaths in the Okanagan sub region? – In 2008 only 9 – in 2017 126
Mazurkewich agrees this is a poisoning situation but people are still taking the basic opiod because they are addicted – not really a choice issue. One success story is that people utilizing mobile clinics have not died. The bulk of deaths are in a private home with people not wanting to go to the health system for help. “The crisis, Mazurkewich says, is taking a toll with police, fire fighters, ambulance personal and nurses – some are seeing the same people over and over – the problem is 4 times as bad – compared to two years ago.”
He says “are we doing enough”. We need a whole new approach and if I had all the answers I would implement them immediately.”
Topic – What has IHA done to improve SOGH and the spirit of the staff – enhanced security, working on a nursing protocol that could result in more staff – there is now a 75% occupancy rate – lack of beds appears not to be a issue. He hopes to see a union/management joint study at a board meeting next week. Once renovations are made to the ER then that will really help. There has not been an ER closure in 9 months and IHA+Victoria and local doctors still working on pay equity issues.