(file photo)

Island Health has confirmed that the Saanich Peninsula Hospital will not be accepting new patients at the emergency department this evening.

On Saturday around 7:30 pm., the health authority stated that the decision was made due to a staffing shortage at the hospital.

Earlier reports on social media said that the department was overwhelmed with patients on Saturday, and that there was not sufficient staff to handle the influx.

One patient, Caitlyn, who has asked for her last name to remain anonymous, told Victoria Buzz that she visited the hospital’s emergency department twice today due to a car accident last week.

While visiting around noon today, Caitlyn was told that there were only two doctors and two nurses on staff at that time, and while waiting, one of the doctors made an announcement that if people were not there for an emergency, they needed to leave.

The doctor added that at that time, even early in the day, there were no beds available for incoming patients and due to the lack of staff, they would be unable to handle any more workload.

Caitlyn was also told that at shift change – which happens at 7 p.m. – the staff would be further cut down to only one doctor and one nurse.

In a tweet, Island Health said that new patients would not be accepted to the department until 7 a.m. Sunday morning, and advised anyone in need of emergency treatment to visit either Royal Jubilee Hospital or Victoria General Hospital, or call 911.

Caitlyn added that in this situation, she only felt compassion for the nurses and doctors at the hospital, saying even despite the shortage, the care she received was incredible.


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