No Local Solution as 1000’s Still Travel to Kelowna for Treatment
It was the vision of the ICCHA/Wish Fund that helped develop the robust foundation of tertiary cardiac care at the RIH. Today, working in collaboration with the government, Interior Health, the Thompson Nicola Health and generous donations from our proud community, we have been successful in establishing the ICCHA / Wish Coronary Care Unit (CCU) on September 30th, 2019. However, our cardiac patients still have to wait and make the long and at times risky journey to Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) for life-saving therapies.
“The construction of the new Patient Care Tower has been efficiently designed to make accessing services easier by bringing programs currently dispersed throughout the Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) into one convenient location,” according to Interior Health. Furthermore, in a press release on September 19, 2020, Kamloops Mayor, Ken Christian stated, “as one of only two tertiary hospitals in Interior Health, RIH is vital to all residents in the Thompson Nicola Regional District and we are looking forward to the day it (Patient Care Tower at RIH) opens to patients in summer 2022.”
While this is news to celebrate, this is only Phase 1. According to Interior Health in Phase 2, there will be further “renovations to the existing building with expansion of the emergency department, post-anesthetic recovery department, enhancements to the pediatric unit and the morgue.” However, there has been no mention for the development of the much needed advanced healthcare for acutely ill cardiac patients with heart attacks or the very sick cancer patients.
The Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) takes only 2 patients daily for heart therapies, triaging of our admitted patients is inevitable, so much so that there is a systemic delay in providing this much needed therapy for these patients. Patients have developed complications while waiting, with current global pandemic conditions making matters even worse as patients are kept waiting even longer before transferring. This backlog builds up and waiting lists for elective patients also keep growing longer. ” Al Patel.
How close are we to establishing this much needed Cath Lab locally?
“We are leaving no stones unturned to support our community in need, we continue to raise our voices with Interior Health and our government. We are advocating to save every patient, because as we know when it comes to heart failure, every second counts. It is unacceptable that we continue to put patients and family through further risk and trauma, subjecting them to a transfer to another city. We need a Cath Lab now, the government needs to act now and put the lives of Kamloops citizens as a priority.” states Al Patel.
Establishment of a Cath Lab at RIH will enable coronary interventions and stent placement in patients, save lives, add another dimension to provision of acute cardiac care. It will also bring us closer to national and international standards in this field and send a strong message to our community that Interior Health and the government is committed to excellence in cardiac care. The next step is to provide the ICCHA/WISH CCU with a dedicated 3D Echocardiogram system. This will enable accurate diagnostics at the patient’s bedside and help institute therapies promptly.
“We need our communities’ support to help raise awareness and advocate for our community. So far we have taken on fundraising to privately raise money for much needed equipment, but the government needs to step up and support our efforts. Putting our community at risk has gone far beyond the level of acceptance and we need support – NOW.” – Al Patel
The ICCHA/Wish Fund will continue to raise money privately through community events. To help reach the fundraising goal, the ICCHA / Wish Fund is hosting a Drive-Thru Dinner on Friday November 13th, 2020 at Colombo Lodge and a 50/50 raffle with a Grand Prize jackpot up to $200,000. To support enhanced cardiac care at RIH and to learn more about the ICCHA/Wish Fund, visit www.iwishfund.com.