EDITORIAL – The irony of the premiers meeting as Clearwater hospital closes again

(Image: Interior Health)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THIRTEEN PREMIERS wrapped up two days of meetings yesterday. As expected, health care was the big agenda item.

Coincidentally, as the premiers met in Victoria at the Empress Hotel, the Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater was in the midst of yet another temporary closure due to staffing shortages.

So far this year, the hospital has been closed 15 per cent of the time. Whenever there’s a closure, residents face the prospect of having to drive an hour and a half to Kamloops for care.

The Dr. Helmcken situation is but one example of the need for action to fix health care.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9483 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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