Island Health has announced an ongoing physician shortage for the Port Hardy hospital means the emergency department will face overnight closures until Oct. 28.
The department will close each night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., but all other inpatient services will continue as normal.
The health authority advises anyone experiencing a medical emergency to call 911, or proceed to the Port McNeill Hospital if possible.
If someone is unsure if they are experiencing a medical emergency, they can call 811 to speak with a registered nurse.
“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 news release.
This closure is one of many that have occurred in recent months at this hospital.
Island Health has put together a task force to look at solutions for hospitals on the north Island, but in the meantime they are facing frequent closures due to worker shortages.
On Aug. 25, James Hanson, Island Health’s vice-president of clinical operations for central and north Island, told Canada’s National Observer there is 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.
READ MORE FROM OCT. 21: Port Hardy emergency department to close over the weekend
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