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.
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.