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Posted: September 29, 2022

Today is an unacceptable anniversary: MLA Shypitka

MLA Tom Shypitka

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka is pounding on the ruling NDP as an “unacceptable” anniversary is not celebrated today.

Noting it was one year ago today that Interior Health announced the ‘temporary’ closure of Elkford’s emergency room, Shypitka said there is still no sign of it opening anytime soon.

“Winter is approaching, the roads will soon become unpredictable, and still this NDP government thinks it’s okay for patients in medical distress to have to be medically transported 45 minutes on a good day to the nearest ER in Fernie. It’s unacceptable,” said Shypitka.

“The only other option is Sparwood — a 30-minute transfer when roads are clear — which only offers emergency medical treatment during limited hours at its health centre. The people of Elkford deserve timely access to urgent medical care, but they’re not getting it.”

Shypitka points out Elkford is a mining town, with an increased potential for workplace accidents that can be serious and require immediate attention. Shutting down the local ER for a year, and clearly longer, is a huge concern to the community.

“Where is the recruitment effort to bring in more health care workers? Today, after two terms of being in office, the NDP is finally announcing their long-awaited health human resources strategy,” he said.

“This could have been done a lot sooner but thanks to NDP delays, the health care situation in Elkford and other rural communities has continued to deteriorate. I will continue to press this government to reopen the ER in Elkford and help residents access the vital services they need, when they need them.

“However, I won’t hold my breath, as the NDP continue to show they are incapable of resolving the big concerns people care about. This issue is of critical importance to my riding. As the Legislature resumes on Monday, I will be speaking to this crisis and holding the government to account.”

e-KNOW file photo

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