‘It’s a scary thought’: Central Saanich residents concerned about nightly hospital closure

'It's a scary thought': Central Saanich residents concerned about nightly hospital closure
Saanich Peninsula Hospital is shown.

The Saanich Peninsula Hospital is closed every night from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. as of July 7 until Sept. 4.

Island Health says that they are unable to properly staff the emergency room for patients due to an overnight staffing shortage.

This announcement comes after a previous shut down in June due to similar circumstances.

The summer closure has raised concerns for local community members, including Mandy Kray, a resident of Sidney of more than 40 years.  Kray has an elderly mother who would rely on the hospital if anything were to happen to her.

“It’s a bit of a scary thought because here in Sidney it’s very much a retirement community, and when we don’t have a hospital close by it’s a scary thought because otherwise we have to go into Victoria General or Jubilee,” she said. “We need our little hospital out here.”


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CHEK News reached out to B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix’s office about the closure. In a statement, the minister said:

“We know this has been an incredibly challenging time for those working in the health-care system and those challenges continue. There is a shortage of physicians, especially those trained to work in emergency departments, affecting communities across B.C., Canada and beyond.”

This does not bring much comfort to Saanich resident Jim Montgomery, who feels that the problem is systemic.

“I think it’s really sad. I think it’s just a reflection of the medical system right now,” he said. “It looks like we need more doctors and we have to put a stop to it because we need our hospitals. We need them full time 24/7.”

He added that he is concerned that people are just going to wait until the morning instead of driving to another hospital, which could ultimately worsen someone’s condition or concerns.

Island Health says anyone who is experiencing a medical emergency near Saanich Peninsula Hospital should call 911, or, if possible, head to Royal Jubilee or Victoria General Hospitals.

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