Emergency department closures continue in Clearwater, Oliver | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Emergency department closures continue in Clearwater, Oliver

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A small southern Interior community's emergency department will be closed overnight for the next week and another is faced without emergency room services for this weekend.

Interior Health announced today, Aug. 19, Clearwater's emergency department at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital will be closed overnight for the next eight days starting tonight. The ER will be closed from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. up to and including Aug. 26.

The closures are due to limited nursing availability, according to the health authority.

Clearwater has been having ongoing staffing shortages that have been prevalent since the new year. In Ashcroft, two patients have died while awaiting emergency services.

READ MORE: Another patient dies in Ashcroft while awaiting ambulance

Interior Health is asking those in need of emergency services to go to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops at 311 Columbia Street or 100 Mile House District General Hospital at 555 Cedar Avenue South.

"People in the community who need life-threatening emergency care (i.e., chest pains, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding) should always call 9-1-1 for transport to the nearest available and appropriate facility," according to the health authority.

Other inpatient services at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital are not impacted by the change to the emergency department. 

In Oliver, the South Okanagan General Hospital's emergency department is also closed this weekend, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, until 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, due to limited doctor availability.

Patients are being asked to go to Penticton Regional Hospital at 550 Carmi Avenue if they need emergency care.

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