Island Health is advising community residents and visitors to the area that the Port Hardy Hospital (PHH) Emergency Department will be temporarily closed overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. starting Tuesday, November 1 to the morning of Thursday, November 3 due to limited nursing availability. The Emergency Department will be open each day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
During this time of Emergency Department closure, all other inpatient services will continue as normal at PHH.
Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 or, if possible, proceed to Port McNeill Hospital Emergency Department. Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients who call 911 are transported to the appropriate site.
If you are unsure if you are experiencing a medical situation requiring a visit to an emergency department, confidential health information and advice from a registered nurse is available toll free, 24/7 by calling HealthLink BC at 811.
Island Health, working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and other partners, has made significant progress in securing physician coverage for Emergency Department shifts at PHH. However, like all regions in BC and across Canada, we continue to be challenged by a shortage of emergency department trained and experienced nurses.
Island Health continues to take action - working with our partners we are expanding our retention and recruitment activities, have increased our access to travel nurse programs, invested in added support resources within the hospitals, enhanced our local leadership and educator teams and are investing in infrastructure improvements.
Island Health continues to undertake local, national and international recruitment campaigns focused on attracting staff to the region, and this work is ongoing. Despite the success in securing physician coverage and many other professional and support staff, it is expected the ongoing shortage of emergency trained nurses will persist, impacting service interruptions.
Island Health acknowledges this is not an ideal situation for the community and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience experienced by this temporary service interruption.