COVID-19 communication could benefit from local health officer, says Kamloops mayor

“I think what you’re seeing now is the consequence of a decision made a decade ago by the Interior Health Authority to leave the City of Kamloops — a city of 100,000 people — without a medical health officer to deal with the city and to deal with a tertiary hospital like Royal Inland Hospital,” Mayor Ken Christian said.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian has extended his thanks to health-care workers within the city, not just at Royal Inland Hospital, but at other facilities, such as Overlander Extend Care and Ponderosa Lodge.

“All of those facilities are working under extreme pressures during these times,” Christian said.

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Asked about recent comments from city councillors dissatisfied with lack of information from Interior Health regarding the pandemic’s local effects, Christian said it’s unfortunate the city doesn’t have a medical health officer who could be leading a community through the crisis.

“I think what you’re seeing now is the consequence of a decision made a decade ago by the Interior Health Authority to leave the City of Kamloops — a city of 100,000 people — without a medical health officer to deal with the city and to deal with a tertiary hospital like Royal Inland Hospital,” he said.

The mayor said he was given a heads-up by IH prior to the recent reported case of possible COVID-19 exposure at the Sahali Save-On-Foods pharmacy, which Christian sees as a sign of improvement.

Christian said he felt there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the way the case from the Kamloops Curling Centre’s Men’s Sportsman’s Bonspiel was handled days earlier.

“I think they’re getting the message and we’re going to work through this together with them,” he said, noting city emergency manager Dan Sutherland liaises with IH on a daily basis.

Christian said he has not received any official communication from Interior Health about the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Royal Inland Hospital. He said he has asked IH president Susan Brown about the situation at the hospital and said she told him “they were fine.”

“I take that on its face value,” Christian said.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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