The high costs of a health-care crisis in rural B.C. – CBC

Closures and service interruptions are taking a toll on communities

Jan 21, 2023

The health-care service in Chetwynd, about 1,100 km northeast of Vancouver, has been so intermittent that Ashley MacWilliam is afraid it will put people like her asthmatic daughter Aurora at risk.

The hospital in the community of about 2,500 had at least 13 short-term closures last year.

“Even a few weeks ago, she was having an asthma attack and we had to call ahead to make sure the hospital was open because the next closest one to us is about an hour drive away in good weather,” MacWilliam said.

To make matters worse, Northern Health, the authority responsible for Chetwynd Hospital and health care in the northern half of the province, has stopped posting public notices about closures, also known as diversions, the 29-year-old said. Instead they’ve been posting to community Facebook groups — with multiple residents making posts on Facebook asking for more transparency.

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