Sicmaous council, community groups lobby for nurse practitioner

An attempt by the Sicamous Medical Clinic to add a nurse practitioner to their practice is getting support from a number of corners.

An attempt by the Sicamous Medical Clinic to add a nurse practitioner to their practice to improve access to health care for local residents is getting support from a number of corners.

The clinic would need funding from the Ministry of Health to allow for the addition of a nurse practitioner, who were introduced to B.C. in 2005 to fill the gaps caused by a shortage of family doctors.

With their advanced training, nurse practitioners can provide care alongside doctors and other health professionals at a cost that is about half the average income of a family doctor. Such nurses are not replacements for family doctors but they are licensed to diagnose, prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests and treat many of the most common medical conditions.

Nurse practitioners are paid directly by a health authority.

Members of council voted at their Wednesday, Sept. 12 meeting to send a letter of support for the proposal as requested by Pam Beech, from the clinic.

“We all understand the reasons and agree with her (Beech),” says Mayor Darrell Trouton. “We have a number of good doctors in Sicamous, but some are getting older and looking to retire or take a little time off. There needs to be some assistance with keeping medical services in our community, instead of having people driving to Salmon Arm.”

In addition to the support of local politicians, support has come from other community organizations including the Options for Sexual Health program, which operates in Sicamous two evening a month to provide information regarding sex, pregnancy, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.

“… I am well aware of the overload of work under which our hard-working doctors are practicing to attempt to best serve the diverse needs of our population,” writes Karen Offerman, a registered nurse with Options for Sexual Health. “But it is clear that additional support is necessary for us all here and that the addition of a nurse practitioner to their rural medical clinic would be of the utmost value to this community.”

There is no word on when the ministry will make a determination about whether Sicamous would qualify for nurse practitioner funding.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Shuswap History in Pictures: Floodwater food run

A young boy rows through Sicamous’ streets during the 1972 flood.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Most Read