Residents of Merritt, BC are voicing their frustration as they face yet another emergency room closure on Sunday.
It is the eighth since the start of the year and local residents are demanding the government do more.
many related merit Residents rally outside Nicola Valley Hospital.
“We want the IHA to know that we’re not going away. We’re going to get louder and louder and more organized,” said Georgia Clement, an advocate for the community.
Nicola Valley Hospital’s emergency department closed again on Sunday
Due to limited nursing availability, the doors of this emergency room remained closed for 12 hours on Sunday.
“We need openness and this is the first of many. He caught us by surprise this morning,” said Clement.
According to Clement, in addition to the recent closures, the rally was also in support of Dr. Robert Granger.
Granger who lives in Merritt but works for Fraser Health as a surgeon offered his services to Internal Health to help prevent some of these closures. However, he does not meet the requirements.
Dr. Robert Holmes said, “She’s highly trained, especially in trauma, which we get a lot from the Coquihalla Highway and she was ruled out.”
Many would like to see him working in the hospital to overcome the shortage of staff.
“I am very supportive of Dr. Granger, whom I have worked with in the past as an operating room nurse and her skills are exemplary,” said Lolan Menten.
Merritt continues to seek solutions to hospital closure
Meanwhile, without an emergency room open, residents are forced to travel up to an hour for treatment at the closest center located in Kamloops.
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“Someone is going into a disaster situation and we have no way of helping them. It’s not just us, it’s the people traveling on the highway. It belongs to everyone,” Clement said.
She is calling on the government to take immediate action, to prevent any future closures.
“We don’t care what they do. We need this to be open, not any more closed,” she said.
Doctor denies condition at Merritt emergency room
Just over a week ago, Interior Health confirmed to Global News that hiring was underway.
“We understand how important rural health care services are to people living in communities such as Merritt and can confirm that active recruitment is underway for medical staff at Nicola Valley Hospital,” read the statement.
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