COLD LAKE – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has announced that the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre will be without a physician on-site in the Emergency Department on Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 11 p.m. until the next morning at 7 a.m.
The Emergency Department will be similarly affected the following evening on Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 11 p.m. until Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 a.m.
During these periods, nursing staff will remain on site in the Emergency Department to provide triage and assessments.
Staff will also provide referrals to alternate Emergency Departments for patients who require additional medical treatment.
EMS calls will also be rerouted to surrounding healthcare centres with operational Emergency Departments, according to a statement released by AHS addressed to community stakeholders.
“Patients are asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency at this time,” states AHS.
The disruption to Cold Lake’s Emergency Department is due to physician vacancies and the inability to secure locum coverage.
If locum coverage is secured, the Emergency Department closures may not occur, notes AHS.
“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,” states the provincial health organization.
For non-emergency health-related questions residents can call the provincial Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7.
Healthcare facilities near Cold Lake
The nearest emergency department to the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre is the Bonnyville Healthcare Centre over 50 km away.
The Elk Point Healthcare Centre is more than 100km away. However, the facility’s emergency department has no onsite physician on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. the following day.
The Elk Point facility, like the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre, will have nursing staff on site to assess, triage and refer patients to other medical centres.
The St. Therese - St. Paul Healthcare Centre is about 120 km from Cold Lake and the William J. Cadzow – Lac La Biche Healthcare Centre is nearly 150 km away – approximately 1.5 hours away.