Potential adjustments to overnight staffing at Saanich Peninsula Hospital Emergency Department

Saanich Peninsula Hospital is currently experiencing overnight staffing challenges and as we enter the summer months, patients may experience an alternative model of care in the emergency department. The emergency department will continue to provide emergency care to those who need it. 

Ensuring the residents of the Saanich Peninsula have access to the health-care services they need is a top priority for Island Health. When there are limited physicians available, Island Health works in collaboration with the physicians to adjust available physicians to the daytime hours when the emergency department is busiest.

When this occurs, the following adjustments are made: 

At Saanich Peninsula Hospital, overnight between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when 8.5 or more patients attend the emergency department, people with non-urgent medical needs may experience longer waits or be given the option to go home and return to the emergency department the following morning. The physician on call will only support people with serious medical needs. 

People in need of emergency care should always call 9-1-1 or attend the nearest emergency department. If you are unsure if you are experiencing a medical situation that requires 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.

First Nations communities and individuals can also access the First Nations Health Authority’s First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Indigenous people and their family members can access the program to address their health and wellness needs. Please call 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment.

Island Health prepares contingency plans, including with partners at BC Emergency Health Services, for when unexpected situations occur. Thanks to our dedicated staff and medical staff pulling together, Saanich Peninsula Hospital emergency departments remain open and ready to provide emergency care for those who need it. 

Inpatient care in all other units at Saanich Peninsula Hospital are not affected by this temporary adjustment. 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.