More appointment availability, new hours at North Island Hospital, Campbell River outpatient lab

Island Health is taking steps to increase access and reliability for outpatient laboratory services at the North Island Hospital, Campbell River (NIH-CR) outpatient lab.

Effective May 27, 2024, Island Health will be doubling the number of collection appointments available per hour. Additionally, to create more consistency and predictability for patients, hours of operations for the outpatient lab will be temporarily changed to Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. With the increase in appointments, we expect we will be able to support roughly the same number of outpatient collections per day while also increasing reliability.

More information on the NIH-CR lab can be found online here. We encourage people to book appointments by going online or calling 1-866-370-8355.

People in Campbell River can also access non-urgent outpatient lab services at the Merecroft Village LifeLabs location, open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For non-urgent outpatient lab services on Saturdays, people can access the lab at North Island Hospital, Comox Valley from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

These temporary changes mean Island Health can ensure appropriate staffing levels for all critical and emergency inpatient lab services in the hospital, giving our patients, staff and physician partners the best support possible. Further, when lab staffing is impacted with short notice sick calls, walk-in outpatient services can be temporarily disrupted. We recognize and understand that short notice changes in outpatient lab availability have been frustrating for walk-in patients, which is why we are taking these steps to improve consistency of service delivery. 

We are deeply thankful to our staff and physician partners for continuing to provide our patients with the best care possible. We are also thankful for the ongoing patience and support from the community of Campbell River as we work to improve lab services for everyone.  

Considering the current national shortage of trained lab staff affecting regions across Island Health, B.C., and Canada, we continue to undertake significant and focused actions to support staff retention, as well as short and long-term recruitment strategies.