Due to a high number of registered nurses, (RN) and licensed practical nurse (LPN) vacancies, Alberta Health Services (AHS) decided to temporarily not admit to ten of the 30, acute care patient beds at the St. Teresa, St Paul Healthcare Center, and five of the 12, acute care patient beds at the Elk Point Healthcare Centre until August 31 2021.
The announcement was made on June 4 by Senior Operating Officer Cindy Harmata for the Areas 5-8 AHS North Zone.
“This will allow us to reduce staffing needs and focus on providing quality care to our patients,” Harmata said in a news release. “All existing emergency services will remain open at the St. Teresa-St Paul Healthcare Center.”
AHS says that as of June 1, the Elk Point Healthcare Centre, emergency department (ED) is temporarily without an onsite physician coverage for 24-hour periods on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. the following day, until further notice.
Nursing staff remain on site in the ED, providing triage and assessments and referring patients to EDS and surrounding communities as needed.
Harmata says patients are asked to call 911 If they have a medical emergency and EMS calls are being re-routed to the St. Teresa-St Paul Healthcare Centre.
“We understand this decision may create concern in your community, but be assured there are no plans to reduce health care services in St. Paul, or Elk Point,” Harmata said.
Both the St. Teresa-St Paul Healthcare Centre, and Elk Point Healthcare Centre are important facilities that provide quality care and AHS wants them to be operating safely at full capacity, as soon as possible, Harmata added.
“This is a temporary measure to ensure we are provinding safe and high quality health care to our patients and a quality work environment,” Harmata said. “We thank the community for their understanding during this time.”