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Doc decries loss of Castlegar ultrasound

The Castlegar and District Hospital Foundation purchased an ultrasound unit for the Castlegar & District Hospital in 1997. Money was raised by the Castlegar community during the “Light Up” campaign. This unit was replaced by a new ultrasound machine in about 2005. It was noted that 60 per cent of the cost was funded by I.H. and 40 per cent by the Regional Hospital District.


 

The CDH Foundation was informed on Oct. 4 that the I.H.A. and KBRH - regional hospital plans to remove the ultrasound from the Castlegar Health Centre and relocate it to Trail. There was no community - based consultation on this planned move. The I.H.A. did state the Medical Advisor Committee was consulted. This decision will leave us with no local ultrasound.


 

At present,  our ultrasound is used for two days a week with a technician coming from Trail. According to the local Regional Diagnostic Imaging Director there were 1,200 ultrasounds done at the Castlegar Health Centre last year. Removing this ultrasound unit from Castlegar would mean that these 1,200 patients will have to find transportation to Trail for their tests. There is no convenient public transportation from Castlegar to Trail. Hence these patients will have to find their own transportation which depending on the age and condition could be a major problem. Also, the reimbursement policy and procedure for those who can not pay for travel is unclear.


 

Trail at present has three ultrasounds units, one is evidently aging and they want to replace it with the one from Castlegar. With present Telecommunications Imaging it is not necessary for a Radiologist to be present during the test in the majority of cases they can see the procedure from their office. The examination can be viewed from any Hospital in B.C. if need be. Again according to our Local imaging director a Radiologist is present at a test in maybe 20-per-cent or 25-per-cent of tests. These tests could be booked in Trail while the other 75-per-cent could just as well be done in Castlegar.


 

I could fill the page with the feeble excuses, reasons and rationale the I.H.A. tried to use to justify their decision. The fact remains that it boils down to a LACK of will to try to and work out a reasonable and practical solution.


 

We need a massive community protest against this irrational move. WE need it now if not sooner. Their plan is to remove the ultrasound unit out of the Castlegar Health Centre about Oct. 28. It has to be stopped. Please send protests to:


 

Norman Embree, Chair of I.H.A. Board

1815 Kirschner Road

Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 4N7

Phone no. 250-804-0099

Fax: 250-804-0241

normanembree@telus.net


 


 

Allan Sinclair, VP of Acute Services

1815 Kirschner Road

Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 4N7

Phone no. 250-862-4092

Allan.Sinclair@interiorhealth.ca


 

Linda Basran, Community Area Director, IH East

13 – 24th Ave. North

Cranbrook, B.C. VIC 3H9

Phone no: 250-318-7870

Fax: 250-314-2172

Linda.Basran@interiorhealth.ca

Signed,


 

Dr. Waldo Yule,

Castlegar, B.C.