Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

A South Cariboo woman is raising concerns about the way out-of-area patients are being discharged from the hospital in Kamloops.

Olivia Fletcher was involved in a rollover crash outside the community of Clinton on Nov. 15.

“I was pinned in the vehicle. I ended up with quite a few injuries. They decided that they needed to send me to Kamloops.”

The first responders cut off her clothes in order to treat her, and rushed her off to Royal Inland Hospital.

“I went to Kamloops and, I mean, the care was fine while I was there,” Fletcher said. “At [1 p.m.], they told me – keep in mind I have no shoes, no clothes whatsoever – they told me that I’m being released to the streets and I have to find my own way.”

She said there was “no way” she could get back to 100 Mile House on her own, not only because she had nothing of her own to wear and because she was on pain medication for a concussion.

According to Fletcher, hospital staff told her that’s the way it is.

“I made it very clear that that was not going to be happening and that the only people taking me home would be them or a news crew because this is not acceptable.”

After fighting with staff for five hours, she said, they gave her a $400 taxi voucher.

Now, Fletcher said she worries about other patients, because not everyone will fight for and get that ride home.

Tracey Rannie, Royal Inland’s executive director of clinical operations, said she could not comment on a specific patient, but that staff follow proper discharge procedures.

“Discharges from hospital are planned with the patient, physician and care team, and would include involvement of a social worker if a patient has specific needs or challenges,” Rannie said.

Staff do provide patients with options, including taxi vouchers, if they cannot get a ride from family or friends, she said.

“Clothing and shoes are offered if an individual arrives without their own.”

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said it’s been this way as long as she can remember, but it seems to be getting worse.

“We have a transportation system, but it’s only two days a week,” Barnett said.

“I think that these things need to be looked into and that there needs to be more care taken with people from rural British Columbia who don’t have access to taxis and buses and things like that as much like cities do.”

Fletcher agreed.

“I’m horrified,” she said. “You can’t even call yourself a nurse if you’re willing to go out of the way to get [patients] to where they need to be [only to] throw them out into the cold street.”

RELATED: Frustration at the fore at Interior Health public meeting

It’s not the first time the issue of discharges has been raised.

At an Interior Health public meeting in Ashcroft on Oct. 18, one member of the public said he had a health situation that sometimes takes him to Kamloops.

“The last time I was there, I was discharged at 3 a.m. Who do I call?”

– with files from Barbara Roden


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

The receipt for the ride home to 100 Mile House. Submitted photo.

Just Posted

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

New team focuses on troublesome Kelowna properties

Recently, a property owner was handed six tickets amounting to over $2,500

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Central Okanagan adds 3,600 jobs in July: Statistics Canada

The region’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 10 per cent in July

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Vandals target North Okanagan camper

COVID-19 ‘No camping’ warnings sprayed on local camper

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter

Nicola Sanders hopes to spread the word to get Nala home to her son, the rightful owner

Most Read