Interior Health said that due to the limited availability of physicians, the Elkford Health Centre’s emergency department is closing at 12:00 pm on Monday.
Karl Hardt, Interior Health Communications Consultant, told MyEastKootenayNow.com that the closure is justing impacting service on Monday.
“We do have five part-time physicians covering the two full-time equivalent positions in Elkford so generally we’re in good shape but today (Monday), the scheduled physician is not available,” said Hardt.
Due to the closure, anyone needing emergency medical attention should still, as always call 9-1-1. Patients can still access the Sparwood Health Centre between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm if they need emergency medical attention, and the Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie remains open to patients any time of the day.
Despite the closure of the emergency department, the Elkford Health Centre is still open including any scheduled appointments with physicians, along with the lab and x-ray services.
Hardt told MyEastKootenayNow.com that these types of occurrences and staff shortages are uncommon, with the last partial closure of the emergency department back in January 2019.
“It’s more of a one-off situation, we’ve got a great group of physicians and staff in Elkford and we have been pretty good at covering all shifts,” said Hardt. “We’ve done well in avoiding this.”
Only the emergency department services are impacted by the staffing challenge on Monday.
The emergency department at the Elkford Health Centre regularly operates between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday to Friday and will resume its regular services on Tuesday.