Due to gaps in physician coverage, the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre emergency department (ED) will be temporarily closed overnight on the following dates:
- Friday, September 8 from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Saturday, September 9, and
- Saturday, September 9 from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sunday, September 10.
As the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre handles a second closure of its emergency department this week, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has announced a new physician is expected to begin practising in the community this fall.
AHS stated in a release dated Sept. 6, that the addition of another doctor will help mitigate closures related to gaps in physician coverage.
The Ponoka ED will be closed from 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6 until 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 7.
Any patients presenting to the ED during this time will be assessed by nursing staff and referred to other facilities.
EMS crews responding from 911 calls with patients requiring hospital care will re-route to alternative facilities as well.
Patients with non-urgent conditions will be redirected to other available care options as appropriate to their needs. These options include calling Health Link at 811 for medical information and advice, returning to the ED when it reopens if necessary, or following up with a primary care provider.
All other services at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will continue to operate as normal during this temporary ED closure.
“Physician recruitment is a priority for AHS and we are actively working to recruit both Canadian and international medical graduates,” stated AHS.