Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever,” Eventually, Olivia Fletcher was given a taxi voucher for $400

A South Cariboo woman is raising concerns about the way out of area patients are being discharged from Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

Olivia Fletcher said she was involved in a rollover outside of Clinton on Friday, Nov. 15.

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“I was pinned in the vehicle. I ended up with quite a few injuries. They decided that they needed to send me to Kamloops,” Fletcher said.

She said emergency response personnel proceeded to cut off her clothes and put a catheter in her and said they would send her to Kamloops.

“I went to Kamloops and, I mean, the care was fine while I was there,” Fletcher said. “At one o’clock, they told me — keep in mind I have no shoes, no clothes whatsoever — they told me that I’m being released to the streets and I have to find my own way. There is no way. I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused, because I have a concussion, I’m on pain meds, no shoes, no clothes whatsoever. They want to send me out on the streets. I flat out said, ‘No.; “I made it very clear that that was not going to be happening and that the only people taking me home would be them or a news crew because this is not acceptable.”

After fighting with Royal Inland Hospital for five hours, Fletcher said the facility issued her a $400 voucher for her to get home. But, she noted, not everyone will fight for and get that ride home.

It’s not the first time the issue of discharges has been raised.

At an Interior Health public meeting in Ashcroft on Oct. 18, an audience member said he has a health situation that sometimes takes him to Kamloops.

“The last time I was there, I was discharged at 3 a.m. Who do I call? People aren’t being served,” the man said.

At the time, Karen Bloemink, vice-president of clinical operations for IH North replied that a similar concern had been raised earlier that day.

“I hear there has been some improvement on that front,” Bloemink said. “We need to make sure we’re well connected with Royal Inland Hospital and the services they’re offering so we can co-ordinate things. And we need to avoid discharges at 3 a.m.”

Interior Health was asked to explain the discharge procedure for 100 Mile House/Cariboo patients who need to be admitted to Royal Inland Hospital.

The health authority provided the following response:

“As it is for all people across Interior Health, the responsibility for getting home after discharge from a hospital rests with the patient via family or friends. If that is not possible, we may be able to link patients to resources to assist their return, such as the Health Connections bus, and as a last resort, taxi vouchers. It is important for health authorities to be mindful of taxpayers’ dollars and ensure spending is related to our mandate to provide health services.”

– with files from the Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal

© Kamloops This Week


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