Letter: Premier’s intervention needed

Four weeks to get a response and appointment and only after Christy Clark’s office called Interior Health is totally unacceptable.

To the editor:

Christy Clark’s office intervened on my behalf in obtaining an appointment to see an occupational therapist to assist with adjustments to my wheelchair.

Following a call from Christy Clark’s office on Oct. 9, I received a call from a physiotherapist and occupational therapist on Oct. 10, with an appointment for Oct. 20. Five and a half weeks from my original call to Interior Health requesting an appointment.

Four weeks to get a response and appointment and only after Christy Clark’s office called Interior Health is totally unacceptable. It should not take Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia, to get me an appointment. She has far more important things to do.

The physiotherapist I talked to indicated that if I was a new patient they have to respond within 72 hours. However, if you are an existing client who has been seen by an occupational therapist before, then they get back to you when they can. I received help from an occupational therapist about four years ago, therefore I was considered an existing patient. This is discrimination and should not be happening.

I was informed by the occupational therapist that there are only two part-time therapists for West Kelowna and both only work three days a week and sometimes get called away from West Kelowna to stand in for others.  In addition, they currently have a backlog of 28 patients. This being the reason they never contacted me with an appointment date or even acknowledged my request.

This situation needs to change. More therapists or longer hours are obviously necessary to overcome this backlog.

I have asked MLA Christy Clark to look into this situation in West Kelowna, as something needs to be done to rectify this unacceptable manpower shortage and backlog of patients. There is no acceptable reason for not even acknowledging a request for an appointment.

Michael G Coates, West Kelowna