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Elk Point emergency department reduced hours extended into March

The Elk Point emergency department will continue to be closed overnight throughout the month of March, due to a lack of nursing staff.
File photo

ELK POINT/ST. PAUL - A Public Service Announcement from Alberta Health Services (AHS) released on Feb. 28 states the Elk Point Healthcare Centre emergency department will continue to see reduced hours due to a "lack of nursing staff and an inability to secure temporary coverage."

The reduction in hours began in January, extended into February, and is now extended until March 31.

The emergency department will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but will be closed overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

"This will allow current staff to provide consistent service each day, during the times when the majority of emergency department visits occur," according to AHS.

If residents have an emergency medical situation, they are asked to call 911. EMS calls are being re-routed to St. Paul (35 km away), Bonnyville (51 km away) and Cold Lake (104 km away).

"We are thankful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff and would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding during this time," says AHS.

Signage has been placed at the front door stating the closure at the emergency department during overnight hours. 

Residents are also reminded to call 811 Health Link if they have a non-emergent health related question. 

"Recruitment of nurses is a challenge across North America. It can be particularly difficult outside of urban centres and with practitioners who bring specialty skills," states AHS.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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