On a small number of occasions when a bunch of babies decided to be born at the same time, soon-to-be Cariboo mothers were told Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops was too full and were directed to another hospital, according to David Matear, executive director for Interior Health (IH) West.
“This is only in exceptional circumstances where Royal Inland Hospital had become too full. We’re fortunate to work within a network of hospitals and are therefore able to transfer patients in these relatively rare occasions,” he says. “We recognize this was not ideal and meant additional travel for those families.”
They were forced to travel out of the local area to give birth due to the closure of maternity services in 100 Mile House and the temporary closure of maternity services at Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Williams Lake. The temporary closure at CMH is due to a critical staffing issue.
The decisions to relocate any patients are made to ensure the appropriate care is provided in a timely manner for mothers and babies, according to Matear.
“We prioritize patients for transfer based on their ability to relocate to another facility. We do this ultimately to ensure that there is the ability to respond to any emergent patient who would otherwise not be able to transfer to another location. Again these are relatively rare occurrences.”