Blood lab permanently closes in Vernon due to staffing shortages | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Blood lab permanently closes in Vernon due to staffing shortages

The Sterling Centre in Vernon
Image Credit: Google Maps

A Vernon blood collection lab has permanently closed after challenges recruiting medical lab assistants.

The lab, located at the Sterling Centre on 25 Avenue, originally closed last October due to difficulties recruiting medical lab assistants, said corporate program director Joanne Isber, with Interior Health’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, in a statement. It will not reopen.

Patients requiring walk-in services are being asked to visit the Polson Tower Outpatient Lab located at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Valley Medical Laboratories, also has two locations still operating in Vernon.

READ MORE: Clearwater emergency room closure extended into September

“Sterling lab employees have all been reallocated to the hospital where they serve patients and ensure out inpatients have bloodwork processed in a timely manner. We are working with partners to expand lab services in Vernon and hope to have more details soon,” Isber said.

Patients are being asked to book appointments online or by calling our Lab Call Centre at 1-877-740-7747.

The call centre is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“Interior Health has been actively recruiting lab workers over the past few years to stabilize lab services throughout the North Okanagan. Both medical laboratory assistants required for blood collection and medical laboratory technologist professionals are in high demand both provincially and nationally.”

In the last few years, staffing shortages across the health authority have caused closures in multiple healthcare centres, most notably in rural communities like Clearwater and Oliver.

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