Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Saanich Peninsula Hospital emergency room closed overnight for the summer


It turns out BC Ferries isn’t the only organization on the peninsula that is dealing with mass staff shortages on the regular. 

Island Health released a statement on Thursday, July 6th saying that the Saanich Peninsula Hospital (SPH) would have to temporarily close its overnight emergency room operations due to staff shortages. 

The SPH emergency room will close daily at 10 p.m. and re-open in the morning at 7 a.m. beginning on Friday, July 7th with a tentative end-date of September 4th. 

Island Health claims they made this decision in order to keep the bulk of their staff on-shift while patient demand is the highest. 

“We acknowledge this is not an ideal situation for the community and we sincerely apologize for this temporary service reduction,” said Marko Peljhan, Island Health vice president of Clinical Services Central/South Island and Provincial Programs. 

“We are thankful and appreciative to the emergency department physicians, and all care providers, on the Saanich Peninsula and across the Island Health region for their tireless commitment to providing the best care possible to patients.”

Island Health claims an average of only 11 people need the emergency department at SPH overnight, with an average of two patients arriving via ambulance. 

Up until September 4th, any ambulances which would go to SPH will be redirected to the Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH) or Victoria General Hospital (VGH).

Island Health is recommending that anyone in need of medical services between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. call 911 or proceed to either VGH or RJH when possible.

The emergency department is the only one that will be impacted, according to Island Health. All inpatient services will continue business as usual. 

During this time, Island Health is working with its partners to recruit and support more doctors and other health care professionals.

Curtis Blandy

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