Cormorant Island emergency department to have weekend closures again

Cormorant Island emergency department to have weekend closures again
Island Health
File photo of the Cormorant Island Community Health Centre.

The Cormorant Island Community Health Centre emergency department will once again be closed from April 15 to 17 due to a physician shortage.

On April 18 it is scheduled to reopen as per its usual schedule at 8 a.m., where it will continue operating its normal hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

READ MORE: B.C. announces $30 million for North Island health-care services

During the closure, anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 where there are protocols in place to transport the person to an open emergency department.

If you are unsure if it is a medical emergency, the 24/7 health information line at HealthLink BC is available by calling 811.

Additionally, First Nations people can access the First Nations Health Authority’s First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week by calling 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment.

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This closure comes after the province allocated $30 million to help address closures in emergency departments on the North Island in January.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the focus is on keeping hospital emergency rooms and other health care services open on a regular, consistent basis.

In March, Island Health told CHEK News that the health centre was experiencing closures due to an issue in recruiting doctors.

“From a nurse and allied health professional perspective, we’re actually seeing a lot of progress, what we’re continuing to struggle with is attracting physicians to the region,” said James Hanson, Island Health’s vice president of clinical services, acute care North and community services said in an interview with CHEK News on March 23.

“And so that’s the case here, from a nursing standpoint, we actually have staff all the way through April, in Cormorant Island, what we don’t have right now is secure physician coverage.”

For the health centre, doctors work at the nearby ʼNa̱mǥis Health Centre, and then are called to the emergency department, which is across the street, in the event of an emergency. These roles are filled by the ʼNa̱mǥis First Nation, and Island Health says it is working with the nation to help recruit doctors.

READ MORE: ʼNa̱mǥis, Island Health working to address emergency department closure

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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