Why a skilled surgeon is not allowed to work in Merritt's emergency room | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Sunny  13.3°C

Kelowna News

Why a skilled surgeon is not allowed to work in Merritt's emergency room

Image Credit: Interior Health

Short-term closures of the emergency room at Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt are so common that it’s hard to keep track of them.

A practicing surgeon who lives in Merritt offered to help but his offer has been turned down by Interior Health.

“The hospital was extremely happy,” Dr. Robert Granger told iNFOnews.ca. “All the local family doctors were extremely happy. The gentleman who does the scheduling for Interior Health for Merritt was very happy. It just stopped there. They (Interior Health) never reached out to me.”

This happened about a month ago.

As of today, March 28, Granger can only guess at the reason he was denied hospital privileges.

“I’m presuming it’s currency, which is what you currently do versus what you want to do,” he said.

Granger is a surgeon who works on complex cancer cases.

“I’m used to dealing with very sick patients,” he said. “I also work at the Royal Columbian (Hospital in New Westminster) where we get all the major trauma cases so I’m pretty used to serious emergency care.”

He has not practiced as a general practitioner for many years so, while he doesn’t check people for things like sore throats, he does “little things to look after my patients while they’re in hospital.”

Which makes the currency issue the most likely reason for Interior Health’s refusal.

“In order to provide medical services in an Interior Health acute care facility, physicians must meet the credentialing, training and currency requirements for the specialty area in which they want to work,” Dr. Douglas Smith, executive medical director, clinical operations, Interior Health North, said in an email to iNFOnews.ca.

“These provincial requirements are set by the B.C. Medical Quality Initiative in collaboration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. and have been implemented by each health authority in B.C. Where physicians may not meet the full requirements, Interior Health is committed to ongoing conversations to determine where they are able to meet requirements to provide care in our facilities.”

READ MORE: No to drugs but yes to booze in Kelowna parks

At this point, there have been no conversations between Interior Health and Granger.

He is scheduled to meet with them on Thursday but doesn’t expect to be put to work in the hospital.

“I think they’re just going to affirm their stance,” Granger said. “I think they probably feel bad they never even reached out to me to talk to me to know what skills I have.”

He said the emergency room is closed about four days a month so he was willing to fill those gaps.

“I still work down at the Coast but I live in Merritt,” Granger said. “I don’t need the work. I’m just doing it as a service to the area.”

He had checked with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. and was given the OK from them to work in the ER but the final decision rests with Interior Health.

“The College cannot comment on an individual registrant’s circumstances regarding licensure,” the College said in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “We can say that registrants are required to practise within the scope of medicine in which they have been trained. They can’t cross disciplines.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2023

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile