Kamloops hospital’s pediatrics, obstetrics unit temporarily closes due to staff calling in sick | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Kamloops hospital’s pediatrics, obstetrics unit temporarily closes due to staff calling in sick

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

After a number of sick calls yesterday, Royal Inland Hospital’s pediatrics and obstetrics unit was temporarily closed and patients were transported to other units.

Interior Health has been facing a critical staffing shortage throughout the pandemic and beyond. Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater temporarily closed its emergency department due to staffing shortages for the last two weekends in a row.

READ MORE: Small Interior community's emergency department partially closed due to staffing challenges

At the Kamloops hospital, “we can confirm unit 3W did temporarily close after receiving a number of late-afternoon sick calls. Patients were transferred to other units to maintain their continuity of care,” according to an email from Interior Health.

Staffing challenges at the Kamloops hospital have been ongoing for years, not just during the pandemic, according to an emergency department nurse.

She said there is a common misconception that the current problems are due to the impacts of COVID-19, last year’s extreme wildfire activity in the area and vaccine mandates. She's witnessed ongoing staffing problems for years.

READ MORE: Dangerous staffing crisis at Kamloops hospital years in the making

More information on staffing shortages in the health authority will be provided tomorrow to iNFOnews, the health authority said in the email.

In January, hundreds of Interior Health employees called in sick during the peak of COVID-19’s Omicron wave. Service reductions in rural communities allowed health-care workers to be reassigned and redeployed in key service areas like Royal Inland Hospital.

READ MORE: Hundreds of Interior Health employees called in sick during Omicron wave


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