PRINCETON (NEWS1130) – Angry Princeton residents plan a rally later this morning outside the hospital in their southern BC community.

Staff shortages mean the hospital’s emergency room must been closed overnight, forcing area residents to drive for more than an hour to the nearest ER.

The president of Interior Health, Dr. Robert Halpenny, plans to meet with community members this morning before the 11:30 a.m. rally.

However, residents say the protest will proceed and they intend to wrap themselves in bandages and slings to demonstrate how they must provide their own first aid when the Princeton emergency room is closed.

On a related note, the search for doctors willing to work in rural communities is on again — this time in Enderby.

Three doctors will move out of that North Okanagan town by this fall, leaving the community of about 3,000 people with just two doctors, both in private practice.

Mayor Howie Cyr says Interior Health has agreed to advertise for replacements but is also assessing the needs of the community.

Cyr says the health authority wants to know if more nurse practitioners and fewer doctors can adequately maintain health care in Enderby.