Staff shortage shutters Cormorant Island emergency department until Monday

Staff shortage shutters Cormorant Island emergency department until Monday

Island Health has announced that Cormorant Island’s emergency department will be closed until March 27.

This comes just 54 days after the province announced that the emergency department would operate 7 days a week.

During the closure, Island Health says that anyone experiencing a medical emergency in the area should call 911 rather than visit the community’s health centre.

In its update on the facilities operations, Island Health said the closure is due to a lack of care provider availability.

“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,” read the announcement.

Emergency department closures have been a prolific problem for the region for some time now.

In January, the province announced $30 million in funding as part of a hiring blitz aimed at addressing the issue of short-staffing in the region.

Earlier this month, CHEK reported of the 1,000 candidates pooled, four were hired.

RELATED: North Island health-care crisis gets shot in the arm as 4 nurses hired, but Port Hardy ER closures remain

Wednesday’s announcement highlights the need for more healthcare workers in the area.

This is the second time this year Cormorant Island’s emergency department has faced closure.

The facility is set to return to its normal operating hours on Monday at 8 a.m.

Indigenous communities and individuals have access to the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day services provided by the First Nations Health Authority. The service is available every day of the week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those seeking to address their health and wellness needs can call 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment.

When faced with closures such as this, residents of Cormorant Island have the choice of either waiting for care, or taking a ferry to Port McNeill.

Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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