Wildfire evacuee movement has Royal Inland Hospital above capacity

A memo obtained by Kamloops This Week notes the hospital is over-capacity as it deals with COVID and non-COVID patients and an influx of patients from other communities.

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KAMLOOPS — The shuffling of patients around the Interior Health region due to wildfire-related evacuation orders has led to Royal Inland Hospital being at 120 per cent capacity or more.

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A memo obtained by Kamloops This Week notes the hospital is over-capacity as it deals with COVID and non-COVID patients and an influx of patients from other communities.

For example, when the City of Merritt was placed on evacuation alert on Aug. 15 due to the threat from two area fires, patients and staff at the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre were sent to Royal Inland Hospital.

In addition, 40 residents of long-term care homes in Merritt were relocated to Ponderosa Lodge next to RIH.

The memo also noted patients needing to be admitted to hospital in Merritt, 100 Mile House and Lillooet are being sent to RIH.

KTW contacted Interior Health to ask for more information on patient transfers, capacity issues at RIH and the number of COVID-19 patients currently being treated locally.

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Interior Health responded with a statement:

“Wildfire activity across the Interior region continues to impact many people. Kamloops has welcomed evacuees from neighbouring communities, including long-term care residents and a small number of hospital patients. In addition to Royal Inland Hospital and Kamloops, people have been evacuated to sites throughout Interior Health and in neighbouring health authorities.

“Some staff have been redeployed within IH, including staff who have come to RIH. We are grateful to the health care workers who have travelled with the people in their care and who are now working at receiving sites. While the emergency department at RIH has been busy, we want to be clear that urgent and emergency services continue to be available and anyone requiring emergency care should come to the hospital as needed.

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“The emergency departments at both the 100 Mile District General Hospital and Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre remain open as well, and those requiring emergency care should proceed to the hospitals as needed. We want to thank all health care workers for their ongoing support and dedication through this challenging summer.”

Click here to read more from Kamloops This Week.


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