07/22/2013 08:47 EDT | Updated 09/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Nurse cut angers remote Kootenay community

The Interior Health Authority has taken away the community health nurse in a remote part of the Kootenays and relocated her to Nelson, in a move that has drawn the ire of residents.

People in an area known as the East Shore, north of Creston, staged a rally earlier this month to protest the closure of the community health nursing office in Crawford Bay.

"To have a resident nurse is important because she knows where to find people and has a relationship with people in the community," said long-time resident Lynda Leduc.

The 1,500 or so people who call the East Shore home say health care has slowly eroded.

Years ago, their only local doctor died and wasn't replaced.

But Interior Health manager Cheryl Whittleton says the decision has been made with the health of the region in mind, adding that a nurse from Nelson still visits the East Shore.

"I do believe she goes out there two times a week. If the needs increase, then we will be adjusting how many times we provide service to the East Shore," Whittleton said.