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Cadzow hospital without Emergency Ward doctor Sunday

Lack of available physicians causes disruptions at hospital

For the third time in two weeks, service disruptions due to a lack of doctors are taking place in the Emergency Department of Lac La Biche's W. J. Cadzow Hospital.

The latest disruption began at 8 am Sunday  and will continue until Monday, March 27 at 8 am. The disruptions mean that no physicians will be available at the hospital for emergency cases during those times.

Alberta Health Services says the continuing inability to secure physician coverage in the community is the reason for the re-curing disruptions.

"This is a temporary measure and AHS is working hard to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time. If coverage is found, this disruption may be cancelled," notes AHS media contact Sara Blake.

Nursing staff will remain on-site in the emergency department providing triage and assessments, and referrals for patients to alternate emergency departments in surrounding communities, as needed.
Patients are asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency. EMS will remain available to the community and will be re-routed to surrounding healthcare centres to ensure local residents continue to have access to the emergency services they need.

"Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7 for non-emergency health-related questions," said Blake, continuing to thank the community for patience and understanding. "We are thankful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff and would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this time."

Two previous, short-term disruptions to the Lac La Biche hospital's emergency ward took place earlier in March. The two disruptions took place during a one-week period, affecting overnight service at the local emergency department.

Lac La Biche County elected leaders as well as provincial Health officials continue to work to attract and secure more physicians for the Lac La Biche area.


Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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