Specialist shortage affecting elective surgeries

East Kootenay Regional Hospital recruiting additional anesthetists

Recruiting medical specialists to the East Kootenay Regional Hospital has long been a challenge, however, staff had recently scrambled to deal with gaps in anesthetists coverage.

Dr. Lawrence Jewett, the Chief of Staff for the EKRH, noted that the retirement of an anesthesiologist last year, along with another on academic leave, recently created some challenges when existing staff took vacations.

“So we scrambled to find replacements,” said Dr. Jewett. “…We have short-term and a long-term plan. The short-term is to try and get as many locums (temporary staffing) so we can do our three operating room slates per day. With the numbers we have right now, we just can’t do that, so we’re falling behind in our elective surgery slates.”

Ideally, having six anesthetists available would be optimal, however, there are only three locally right now, says Dr. Jewett.

He sympathized with patients and said that timelines for elective surgeries are being pushed back by five or six months.

“There’s going to be delay on elective surgeries and people’s dates are going to be pushed forward and I think that’s really bad,” Dr. Jewett said. “It’s bad for their community and bad for people who are suffering. Obviously people on waiting lists need the surgery.

“…It’s going to take us five or six months to catch up to where we should be and I have real empathy for the patients who are being put through this.”

Medical specialist recruitment is not a new issue for rural areas of the province, but in the case ofanesthetists, there are shortages across Western Canada.

“We’re having problems in both BC and Alberta, there aren’t enough anesthetists,” he said. “In fact, Vancouver is short and they say they can take every new anesthetist that graduates from UBC for the next three years. Kamloops is four down, so it’s not a simple matter of just finding people.”

Just Posted

Lilith returns for 18th year

The by women, for women show is now sold out.

Cranbrook man pleads guilty to aggravated assault

A Cranbrook resident has pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault case from… Continue reading

RMI funding confirmed for another year

Discussion around how funding allocated needed, says Kimberley mayor

UPDATED: Cranbrook’s India Sherret crashes in Olympic debut, in stable condition at hospital

Ski cross athlete loses balance mid-race in seeding round of event in Pyeongchang

City of Cranbrook culls 50 urban deer

In an effort to reduce incidents of deer aggression across the community,… Continue reading

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Czechmate: Canada wins men’s Olympic hockey bronze

Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett scores twice as Canada beats Czech Republic 6-4

Most Read