Alert Bay emergency department to shut down over four-day Easter long weekend

Alert Bay emergency department to shut down over four-day Easter long weekend

For the third time this year, the emergency department in Alert Bay will be closed — this time over all four days of the Easter long weekend.

Island Health announced the closure late Thursday, saying the emergency department will close Friday until until Tuesday, April 11. Island Health is calling the closure a “temporary service interruption” and did not provide an explanation for the closure in the announcement.

In its statement, Island Health asked residents living on Cormorant Island, northeast off the coast of Port McNeill, to avoid going to the emergency department if they need care as it will likely lead to delays in getting help.

Instead, they’re being told they should call 911 in an emergency, and transportation will then be arranged to another health-care facility. When faced with closures such as this, residents of Cormorant Island have the choice of either waiting for care, or taking a ferry to Port McNeill.

“Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients are transported to an appropriate alternate site,” said Island Health in its statement.

Just last month, the facility underwent two other similar closures.

RELATED: ʼNa̱mǥis, Island Health working to address emergency department closure

In January, the province announced $30 million in funding as part of a hiring blitz aimed at addressing the issue of short-staffing in the region.

Earlier last month, CHEK reported of the 1,000 candidates pooled, four were hired.

RELATED: North Island health-care crisis gets shot in the arm as 4 nurses hired, but Port Hardy ER closures remain

Indigenous communities and individuals have access to the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day services provided by the First Nations Health Authority. The service is available every day of the week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those seeking to address their health and wellness needs can call 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment.

With files from Roger Collins

Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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