Port Hardy’s emergency department is facing another immediate, temporary overnight closure due to a staffing shortage.
Island Health says limited staff availability means the ER at Port Hardy Hospital (PHH) will be closed from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4 to 7 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Anyone in the area experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 or, if possible, proceed to the ER at Port McNeill Hospital, according to the health authority in a service notice.
“Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients who call 911 are transported to the appropriate site,” it said in the notice.
“If you are unsure if you are experiencing a medical situation requiring a visit to an emergency department, confidential health information and advice from a registered nurse is available toll-free, 24/7 by calling HealthLink BC at 811.”
It’s the second overnight closure in a row for Port Hardy’s ER, after a staff shortage forced the facility to close Monday night as well.
Island Health says it acknowledges the situation is not ideal for the community and apologizes for any inconvenience experienced by the temporary service interruption.
Emergency departments at hospitals throughout the North Island have faced repeated closures in recent months, including in Alert Bay, where the Cormorant Island Community Health Centre ER closure was recently extended to Oct. 17.
The health authority recently launched a task force of representatives to ensure “reliable and predictable” emergency and acute care services for patients, as elected officials keep calling on the province to fix hospital staffing shortages.