Number of IH employees calling in sick continues to rise, CEO says

IH absenteeism won't let up

While the Omicron wave of COVID-19 might have peaked in some parts of B.C., the head of Interior Health says sick calls among employees are still trending up.

Surging case counts amid Omicron have forced IH to cut some rural healthcare services and shuffle staffing resources. Last week, IH announced temporary cuts or reductions to services in Barriere, Clearwater, Invermere and Ashcroft.

“Our sick calls are still on the rise — they have not settled yet,” IH CEO Susan Brown told Castanet.

“I think the Lower Mainland is a little bit ahead of us. What I’ve heard from my peers is that they think they’re at the peak, and I think the Interior might be a little bit behind.”

Brown said she expects to see absenteeism begin to decline in the coming weeks.

“Where you’ve seen other jurisdictions in B.C. sort of start to see that levelling off and coming down, we anticipate we might be a couple of weeks behind them,” she said.

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