Local MDs request help from Town for coronavirus response

An open letter from area doctors to Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill and Town Council

March 23, 2020

To Smithers Town Council and Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill

Dear Deputy Mayor and Council, Re: COVID 19 pandemic response As representatives of your local medical community and fellow community members, we need your help. There are continued signs that the global viral outbreak is aggressive and difficult to control once it becomes widespread. As you are aware, we have a small hospital with limited bed space and no pre-existing ICU. (Intensive Care Unit). Of course, we are planning for every eventuality if we end up needing to keep the sickest people here if no transport options exist. But no matter what plans we make, there is no substitute for a properly supplied and staffed ICU. The nearest one is Terrace and they are planning to maximize their capacity of course. There has been a lot of questions about ventilators from the community. This is not our weakest point in the chain of care. It’s the staff and rest of the intensive care infrastructure that would be the issue.

Local medical resources here could be overwhelmed quite quickly. We want to make every effort to prevent this from happening. As the letter March 22 from the president of the Doctors of BC reads today, “Our colleague and Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been very clear in her direction on COVID-19. The time is now. The public must self-isolate and maintain social distance in accordance with her orders. What they do today will impact the health and perhaps the fate of British Columbians in the next weeks and months.” We would like to partner with you to help manage the outbreak in our region. We are looking to town council to use your municipal authority as community leaders. Please use your resources to help us mitigate the impacts of this outbreak. Specifically, this pertains to the enforcement of physical distancing. It is crucial that physical distancing instructions be disseminated and followed without exception and without delay.

Darren Jakubec, MD, Anesthesia Lead, BVDH (Bulkley Valley District Hospital)

Justin Flynn, MD, Emergency Lead, BVDH

Kate Niethammer, MD

Jodi Preto, MD

Laura Eustace, MD

Karin Blouw, MD

Marlowe Haskins, MD

Sheila Smith, MD

Flora Barnard, MD

Elizabeth Kruithof, MD

(All of us are Smithers/Bulkley Valley based Medical Doctors)


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

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read