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‘System collapsing’: B.C.’s Health Minister under fire after ‘horrifying’ story from Penticton

‘Sadly, this NDP government is not listening,’ said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton
B.C. health minister Adrian Dix at the Union of B.C. Municipalities last month in Whistler. (Credit: Union of B.C. Municipalities)

The content of the following story may be disturbing to some readers.

The story of a patient left alone in excruciating pain for more than an hour, ending in a miscarriage, has MLAs across the province “horrified.”

Shirley Bond, the official critic for health and Liberal MLA for Prince George-Valemount, shared the story this week in the B.C. legislature, of an unidentified Penticton Regional Hospital patient who miscarried her son.

“The disconnect that we hear every day from NDP cabinet ministers and what British Columbians are experiencing in their lives is shocking,” Bond said. “Yesterday, we learned of yet another horrific example of a health care system that has collapsed.”

An investigation regarding the incident has been launched through the Patient Care Quality Office, Interior Health has confirmed with Black Press.

“The PCQO is the right avenue for addressing patient concerns if they cannot be dealt with directly with our hospital teams,” said Jonathan Clare, Interior Health’s interim executive director.

“Interior Health and our staff and physicians recognize that the loss of a child at any point in a pregnancy is traumatic and we are very sorry for this patient’s experience. Our thoughts are with her and her family during this difficult time.”

Bond called upon Dix to resign from his position after sharing the details of the tragic story that includes the woman screaming for help alone in a bathroom. The Prince George-Valemount MLA added that B.C.’s health care system has collapsed.

“Obviously, in a case such as this, the grief, the sense of loss of individuals is profound,” Dix responded. “The important question is right now taking the steps that we are taking to continue to build a health care system that provides high-quality care for everyone, and I remain determined to do so.”

Bond clarified her critiques aren’t about doctors or nurses, but instead, directed toward the people at the top.

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton took to Twitter earlier this week, describing the local patient’s story as heartbreaking.

“Sadly, this NDP government is not listening,” he wrote. “Families want their government and their minister to hear them, to hear their voices, to know the pain and sorrow they are experiencing.”

Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson also acknowledged the Penticton-based incident via Twitter.

In an emailed response to Black Press, Interior Health said the PCQO’s investigation will help the group make improvements going forward.

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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