Interior Health says progress made on filling RIH staffing vacancies

More RIH staff than last year

Interior Health says while the staffing vacancy rate at Royal Inland Hospital still presents a challenge, there are about 60 more staff working at the Kamloops hospital now than there was a year ago.

A year ago, IH CEO Susan Brown announced the health authority had hired a recruiter specifically for Royal Inland Hospital after the facility faced significant staffing challenges.

In an email to Castanet Kamloops last week, an IH spokesperson said a dedicated recruitment team for Royal Inland Hospital has actively worked to attract more staff with a focus on graduating students, getting involved in nine hiring events at Thompson Rivers University among other hiring fairs.

According to Interior Health, a specific initiative — the Kamloops Health Action Plan — has also brought people from across Interior Health together “to study and take action on the challenges at RIH.”

“While our staffing vacancy rate is still challenging, ongoing recruitment is a top priority,” the IH spokesperson wrote.

“It is important to note we have added almost 250 direct care positions to Royal Inland Hospital over the last year or so, and we currently have about 60 more staff working today than we did last year.”

According to the health authority, the overall vacancy rate at RIH is sitting at about 21 per cent. A total of 2,191 people are employed at the Kamloops hospital, not including casual workers.

IH said physician vacancies are a priority, with “physician resources” added to the emergency department and the hospitalists roster.

The health authority said one new critical care physician has accepted an offer to work in Kamloops, with two more offers extended.

“We are optimistic two others will soon join our RIH team,” the spokesperson said.

According to Interior Health, two dermatology positions have recently been filled, with gastroenterology and internal medicine departments fully staffed.

Recruitment is ongoing for anesthesia, neurology, radiology and in the hospitalist program.

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