Some rural B.C. mayors call for end to vaccine mandates to get more nurses working
Fed up with rolling emergency room closures, some rural B.C. mayors are calling on the province to end the vaccine mandate for health workers as a way to get sidelined nurses back on the job.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said that option is not on the table, but the province has a range of other tools to boost the health-care workforce in rural parts of B.C.
Merritt Mayor Michael Goetz said the Nicola Valley Hospital has been temporarily closed four times since Christmas.
He said with 80,000 vehicles a day passing by Merritt on the Coquihalla Highway, “there’s always going to be an incident somewhere along the way where somebody may have to go to the hospital. And if the ER is closed, they have to go to Kamloops or Kelowna.”
Goetz is one of 37 mayors in the B.C. Rural Health Care Alliance, a group that aims to present a collective voice in pushing the Health Ministry for solutions to the health care shortage.