Closing system

Island Health staff shortage: Hospital ER closed again

The emergency department of a North Island hospital has unexpectedly closed again due to a lack of staff.

In a statement released Sunday after the shutdown began, Island Health said Port McNeill Hospital’s emergency room would be closed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day “due to limited staff availability. “.

All other inpatient services at the hospital will continue as normal, the health authority said, adding that people in need of emergency care should call 911 or, if possible, go to Port Hospital. Hardy.

“Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients are transported to the appropriate site,” the health authority’s statement said.

Sunday’s closure is the latest in a series at Port McNeill Hospital, and Port Hardy Hospital has also been affected by limited staff in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, both facilities had to close their emergency rooms on consecutive days, prompting concerns about the collapse of the region’s healthcare system from the BC Nurses Union and BC Green. Party.

Other establishments on Vancouver Island and across the province have also struggled to stay open this year, as the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and record number of toxic drug overdoses put pressure increasing impact on the province’s health care system.

Earlier this year, a Hospital Employees Union poll suggested that one in three healthcare workers in British Columbia would likely leave the profession in the next two years due to stress and burnout.

On Friday, Island Health announced upcoming closures and reduced hours at Chemainus Health Care Center (CHCC) and Cormorant Island Community Health Center. These changes are also due to a lack of personnel.