As it had previously warned would happen, the Interior Health Authority (IHA) announced Friday that staffing shortages will result in ultrasound appointments in Castlegar not being offered on a regular basis.
The interruption to regular service will begin Feb. 3, according to an IHA news release, and “is due to staff leaves combined with existing staffing vacancies and lack of replacements for these positions.”
The release also stated that “Interior Health will continue to recruit for new technologists and, dependent on staffing availability, will aim to provide service directly in Castlegar when possible.”
In the meantime, patients who need non-urgent scans will have to go to the hospitals in either Nelson or Trail. The health authority said it will “do everything possible” to let patients choose which hospital they would prefer to go to.
“All avenues to address the current staffing shortage are being explored, including the use of contract ultrasound services. This will allow contracted technologists to provide additional temporary service to meet the needs for the region,” the release stated.
IHA also announced that, effective Feb. 1, Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson will be unable to provide regular echocardiography (heart ultrasound) service, but will be able to book appointments at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.