Doctors need housing

The towns of Oliver and Osoyoos have long been asking how they can support the delivering of healthcare at the Oliver hospital. They now have an answer.

The South Okanagan Division of Family Practice and Interior Health have written to the municipalities asking for help securing housing for locum doctors at South Okanagan General Hospital.

The Oliver hospital’s emergency department experiences occasional closures due to staffing shortages. The hospital’s chief of staff resigned in 2017 over proposed cutbacks, but upgrades are coming to the SOGH emergency department this year.

“To fill gaps in service, we rely on locums to cover vacation time in clinics and for emergency vacancies. However, securing housing for locums wanting to travel to practice in our communities, has been and continues to be a real challenge,” writes Division of Family Practice director Dr. Kevin Hill and IH Health Services Administrator Carl Meadows.

“Previously, mayors and councillors have asked how their towns can support physicians. As such, we would like to formally request that the Oliver and Osoyoos city councils consider securing physicians housing,” the letter continues.

“With a dedicated residence close to SOGH, we could ensure easily accessible and comfortable housing for out-of-town physicians travelling to work in our communities.”

The letter, included in next week’s Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District Board meeting, invites both municipalities to discuss the proposal in more detail.

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