I am responding to your article concerning the closing of the dialysis unit at the Invermere & District Hospital.
It is interesting that Interior Health Authority (IHA) says they are closing it due to lack of staff. I know of two nurses who were interested in working in the unit, at least one of whom applied for the posted position.
There are three satellite dialysis units in the East Kootenay and their patient numbers vary from time to time so being down to one patient is not finite but merely a temporary situation.
The unit in Invermere is also used by non-residents who come on vacation and this actually adds to the viability as the money they pay does not come from B.C.’s health system.
I have talked to nurses in the dialysis units around the East Kootenays and they agree with me that a pool of nurses who would be willing to do some travelling around the region would allow for increased patient numbers and the flexibility to provide quality health care to patients who require dialysis.
I think it’s about time that IHA began looking outside the box to try to provide services like dialysis instead of just closing programs and denying access to the taxpayers of rural B.C. communities.
Patt Shuttleworth, RN MA
East Kootenay Regional Chair BC Nurses Union