Photo: Teresa Durning
Long wait lines for medical lab services in Vernon earlier this month.
Interior Health is offering a $10,000 signing bonus to attract medical lab technologists to address what it is calling an “urgent” need.
Multiple permanent, full-time positions are open in communities across the Southern Interior.
“Interior Health is urgently seeking medical laboratory technologists to join our hospital teams located across the sunny Southern Interior of British Columbia, and many permanent positions are eligible for a $10,000 signing bonus!” IH says on its job posting.
The health authority says relocation assistance may also be offered, and some locations qualify for B.C. student loan forgiveness.
“We have multiple hospitals hiring now, and we can work with you to find your dream position whether you are looking for a big city, smaller town or rural community,” IH says.
It touts the Interior’s lakes, orchards, vineyards, golfing, skiing, spectacular scenery, hiking, biking and more “in some of the most desirable communities in Western Canada.”
The news comes as a relief for a Vernon city councillor who experienced long wait times herself recently at a local medical lab.
Teresa Durning says she’s pleased to see Interior Health putting a “big effort” into recruiting more staff.
“A $10,000 signing bonus could be helpful in attracting techs and reducing our wait times for lab service,” Durning said in a Facebook post.
Earlier this month, she said she was shocked to wait in line outdoors for more than two hours at Valley Medical Laboratories for a 10-minute procedure.
She said the wait times are too much to ask for seniors and that the health-care system is “in crisis.”
Valley Medical has two labs in Vernon, one is also a walk-in clinic. The other requires an appointment, but is booking three weeks in advance.
People can also register for bloodwork at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, but there is also a lengthy waiting list.
“I don’t know what’s wrong, but we are in trouble. We are in a crisis, no doubt about it,” sais Durning, who praised frontline health workers. “The workers were amazing once we were in there, the problem is getting the service.”
Standing out in the weather should not be an option, she said.
Meanwhile, IH says patients are encouraged to make appointments online or by calling the lab call centre at 1-877-740-7747. The call centre is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.