Ponoka hospital

Ponoka Hospital ER closed temporarily overnight Monday

The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre Emergency Department was temporarily closed Monday and into the early morning hours of Tuesday.

In a release at 5 p.m. Monday, Alberta Health Services said the emergency department would be without physician coverage from 5 p.m. Monday, until 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

“Any patients within the department will be seen and treated. New patients presenting to the ED after that time will be assessed bynursing staff and referred to other emergency departments in surrounding communities depending on their condition,” AHS said in a release.

EMS will transport patients to other facilities if necessary, including the Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre and the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre. EMS crews returning from 911 calls with patients requiring hospital care will re-route to alternative facilities as well.

All other services at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will continue to operate as normal during this temporary ED closure.

“AHS is grateful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff, especially those who have stepped in to help minimize this coverage gap as much as possible. We would also like to thank the community for its understanding,” they said in a release.