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Cold Lake Emergency Department closed overnight Nov. 15 to 16

Nursing staff will remain on site at the Cold Lake hospital to triage and assess patients overnight, Nov. 15 to 16. Across the province, long wait times at Emergency Departments are being reported.
File photo

COLD LAKE - As Emergency Departments across the province reportedly grapple with long wait times, residents in Cold Lake will again see a temporary service disruption at their local hospital, from 11 p.m. Nov. 15 to 7 a.m. on Nov. 16.

"Due to the inability to secure physician coverage, the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Emergency Department (ED) will be temporarily without on-site physician coverage overnight," between Nov. 15 and 16, according to information from Alberta Health Services. 

"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."

As in previous instances, nursing staff will remain on site and provide triage and assessments and refer patients to other Emergency Departments in surrounding communities.

"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," according to AHS.

Residents can call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7 for non-emergency health-related questions. 

Opposition calls on province to do something

On Nov. 14, the province's official opposition, the NDP, called on the government to "address the serious shortages of children’s medicine in Alberta, and the dangerously long wait times at children’s hospitals."

“Our Opposition Caucus has been inundated with reports and cries for help from Albertans whose kids have gotten sick and who have been unable to find necessary pain medication,” said Rakhi Pancholi, Alberta NDP Critic for Children’s Services, in a media release sent out Monday afternoon. “We’re calling for tangible and real action at all levels of government to acquire children’s pain and fever medication, and to work collaboratively to restock pharmacy shelves.”

Pancholi added, “As a parent, it is heartbreaking to not be able to relieve your child’s pain and discomfort. Any parent who has been up all night with a child who is in pain or has a fever knows that all you want is to make things better for them. To bring them some relief so they can rest and get better.”