Kamloops councilor won’t support future capital requests from Interior Health until communication improves | Radio NL

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A Kamloops councilman said he does not plan to support future capital requests made by Interior Health for the foreseeable future.

Mike O’Reilly says he hopes this leads to responses from the health authority, noting that the issues raised by Mayor Ken Christian and Councilor Dale Bass this week are not new.

“We responded to all the capital requests they made. We voted and we said ‘yes, we support that,’” O’Reilly said.

“I won’t support it at this point until it becomes a two-way street because right now it’s a one-way street. We provide funds and that’s it. That’s not how it should work, and that’s really the only pressure point we need to put on the IHA is to hold back the demand for capital funding.

Speaking on the NL Morning News, O’Reilly said City Council often don’t know what Inland Health is planning because they aren’t as accessible as they would like.

“Obviously we know their comms service is working because they put some nice little tweets about rescuing a few geese which is fantastic but they’re trying to hijack and change the story but this problem is there,” he said.

“The relationship we have with the IHA is two-way, but at the moment it is one-way.”

Citing reports of low staffing and stories of stressed nurses, Dale Bass told colleagues more needed to be done to help healthcare workers at the Kamloops hospital.

“Nurses cried last week in this room. They just cried. The nurses go home exhausted. More than half of them are currently on antidepressants. Some of them are having suicidal thoughts,” Bass said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Mayor Ken Christian also spoke about the problems at the Royal Inland Hospital, noting he was “baffled by the candor” of nurses after meeting with nurses last week.

“We are literally six weeks away from opening a nearly half a billion dollar hospital that will be nothing more than bricks and mortar if we don’t have the staff, including other allied healthcare professionals, to make it work,” Christian said.

O’Reilly notes that he raised those same concerns about staffing six months ago.

“My statement was, ‘you know, we’re going to have a $500 million facility that’s going to sit empty,’ and here we are six months later and nothing has changed. In fact, it got worse,” he said.

“This hospital is mostly funded by the taxpayers of Kamloops. This is our facility and there are huge concerns. What the IHA plans to do, we don’t know any more than you do because they don’t tell us.

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