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Fort St. John

Temporary shortage of physician coverage at Chetwynd Hospital & Health Centre

CHETWYND, B.C. – Northern Health shared, due to a shortage of physician coverage, there will be a temporary, planned closure and diversion of the emergency department at Chetwynd Hospital & Health Centre.

The Chetwynd Hospital emergency department will be closed from Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at 10 pm to Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at 6 am.

According to Northern Health, the diversion is necessary to ensure safe patient care. Including adequate relief for Chetwynd physicians, who, in addition to their primary care practice, are responsible for providing 24/7 on-call and medical services for the Chetwynd Hospital & Health Centre.

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Chetwynd currently has three physicians, one of whom Northern Health shares, requires an extended absence from the community in October/November 2019.

Northern Health says it’s working with BC Emergency Health Services (ambulance) to manage emergencies during the scheduled diversion. Individuals in the community who need emergency care should call 9-1-1 for transport to the next open emergency department. These locations are in Dawson Creek or Fort St. John or seek private transportation to these alternate facilities.

According to Northern Health, the emergency room is the only department affected by this closure. The rest of the hospital will remain open, and current inpatients and long-term care residents will not be affected. Lab and X-Ray at Chetwynd Hospital & Health Centre will also continue to operate during their regular hours.

Northern Health’s emergency rooms tend to patients who have experienced a sudden and unusual change in their health. Including, but isn’t limited to, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding or pain, broken bones, chest pain and eye injuries.

Patients who are not sure if they require an emergency room visit, or who need health advice can call HealthLink BC (8-1-1).

Or visit www.HealthLinkBC.ca for non-emergency health information from nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days per week.