Once again, Port Hardy Hospital’s emergency department will be closed over the weekend due to staff shortages.
The department will close at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21, and will reopen on Oct. 24 at 7 a.m.
Island Health recommends anyone experiencing a medical emergency to call 911, or go to the Port McNeill Hospital if possible.
Anyone who is unsure if they are experiencing a medical situation that requires a trip to the emergency room can call 811 for health information.
Island Health will open the Port Hardy Primary Health Care Centre/A’ekaḵila’as for walk-ins from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 22 and October 23 for people with less urgent needs.
“Island Health acknowledges this is not an ideal situation for the community and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience experienced by this temporary service interruption,” Island Health said in a statement.
Port Hardy’s emergency department has faced repeated closures as Island Health struggles with staffing for north Island hospitals.
Island Health set up a task force in August to work to address the shortages and closures.
“There has also been substantial effort to maintain services and provide high quality, culturally safe patient care during this difficult time. But we know additional collaborative and innovative approaches that support the doctors and health care providers who work in the region providing high quality, safe patient care, are necessary,” Island Health said at the time.
There is currently a 40 per cent vacancy rate for staff nurses at the Port Hardy and McNeill sites, and COVID-19 sick calls are making things worse, James Hanson, Island Health vice-president of clinical operations for Central and North Island, told Canada’s National Observer on Aug. 25.
“We are not at all satisfied with the situation in the North Island, and access to care in that region is a huge priority for us,” he said.
READ MORE FROM OCT. 11: Port Hardy emergency department facing repeated closures this week due to physician shortage
READ MORE FROM OCT. 4: Port Hardy ER faces another overnight closure due to staffing shortage
READ MORE FROM SEPT. 20: Staff shortage to blame for immediate, temporary closure at Port Hardy emergency department
READ MORE FROM AUG. 19: Lack of staff prompts 48-hour closure at Port Hardy’s emergency department
READ MORE FROM AUG. 5: Port McNeill and Port Hardy Hospital to experience service interruptions over weekend
READ MORE FROM JULY 17: Emergency department at Port Hardy Hospital temporarily closing