26-hour closure for Port Hardy emergency service announced again


The beleaguered emergency department at Port Hardy Hospital will again be closed for 26 hours after having been open for just 10 hours since the last closure.

Starting at 5 p.m., the hospital will be closed until 7 p.m. on November 23.

This comes after the emergency department was closed for 26 hours from 5 a.m. on November 21 to 7 a.m. on November 22.

During the closure, all other inpatient services will continue as normal.

Anyone facing a medical emergency during this time should call 911 where protocols are in place to transport people to the appropriate hospital. If possible, Island Health recommends going to Port McNeill Hospital.

If someone is unsure if they are experiencing a medical emergency, they can call 811 to speak to a registered nurse for confidential health information.

For less urgent same-day primary care, the Port Hardy/A’ekaḵila’as Primary Health Care Center will be open walk-in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 23.

Port Hardy Hospital’s emergency department recently faced a series of closures due to a shortage of doctors or nurses.

Island Health says progress has been made in attracting doctors to the hospital, but is now struggling to recruit enough nurses.

READ MORE: ‘They’re exhausted’: Nursing shortage challenges Port Hardy Hospital

“Island Health continues to undertake local, national and international recruitment drives aimed at attracting staff to the area, and this work continues,” it added in a statement.

“Despite the success in obtaining medical coverage and many other professional and support staff, the current national shortage of nurses is expected to persist, which will impact disruptions in service.”

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