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Oliver hospital to lose emergency services for three nights

April 22, 2016 - 4:30 PM

OLIVER - Not enough available doctors means closures for the emegency room at South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver starting tomorrow night.

Interior Health says there will be temporary closures of the emergency department due to limited physician availability.

Emergency will be closed overnight, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m, on Saturday, April 23, Sunday, April 24 and Monday, April 25.

The ER will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. each of those days, with regular emergency department service resuming Tuesday, April 26 at 8 a.m.

“Our physicians are unable to man emergency for those three nights because of their conflicting workload in their clinics,” Interior Health's South Okanagan accute care services director Deb Runge says.

“If a resident needs to go to emergency they can go to Penticton or call an ambulance,” Runge says.

Residents are also advised to call Health Link BC at a 8-1-1 if unsure about the need to go to emergency.

Eight physicians have been staffing the emergency room at the Oliver hospital on a rotational basis. Runge says this is the first time in the two years there has been a closure due to staffing shortages.

“In January we had some slowdown coverage, but not a full closure like this,” she says.

Runge says the hospital has been working with Oliver and Osoyoos town councils to bring physicians into the community.

“We have had one new doctor come into Oliver in April, and a second one coming in May, so that should help,” she says.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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