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Elk Point emergency department closes for 24 hours

Emergency services unavailable for second time this month

ELK POINT - For the second time this month the Elk Point Healthcare Centre emergency department will be temporarily closed as it will be without on-site physician coverage for 24 hours starting May 20 at 8 a.m.

A media release Wednesday afternoon from Alberta Health Services announced the temporary closure, which comes on the heels of a similar one last week when the hospital was also without an on-site physician for a 24-hour period.

"Alberta Health Services is working to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time. On-site physician coverage in the emergency department will resume Friday, May 21, at 8 a.m. Nursing staff will remain on-site in the emergency department, providing triage and assessments, and referring patients to emergency departments in surrounding communities, as needed," AHS stated.

Elk Point area residents are asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency. EMS calls will be re-routed to the St. Therese – St. Paul Healthcare Centre, 35 km west of Elk Point.

"Depending on their needs, patients seeking care at the local emergency department may also be made aware of services available through local pharmacies. Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7 for non-emergency health-related questions," AHS advises, adding it is "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."