This is an open letter to Minister of Health Michael de Jong:
We the residents of Princeton request that the honourable minister come to our community to address the growing health services crisis at Princeton General Hospital. Representatives of industry, community groups and our local officials have all met with Dr. Halpenny and Interior Health officials, yet no one from Interior Health can provide solutions to the situation with the emergency room closures.
Dr. Halpenny and his team all agree that Princeton General should have 24/7 emergency room coverage but cannot provide the answers to bringing this situation to an end. Princeton residents have been living in the shadow of emergency room closures since 2010. The only difference between those closures and the recent closures is that before we played a game of chance going to the emergency room. Now we know that Monday to Thursday there is no emergency room service after midnight and we take our chances on the 1.5-hour drive along the highway to Penticton.
We the residents of Princeton respectfully request that the minister of health come to Princeton, talk to the people here, ease our concerns and tell us that the ministry is working on solving the crisis facing rural communities like Princeton. People are leaving our community. Families and seniors do not want to move to our community. We are in desperate need of immediate solutions.
We understand how busy the minister is but we respectfully request that you meet with us by June 14. We also respectfully request that you provide us with at least one-week notice so that we may book a venue large enough for the occasion. Thank you for your time and understanding of the urgency of the situation. We look forward to hearing from you.
Spencer Coyne, president
Save Our Hospital Coalition