Due to a shortage of General Practice Anesthetist and the inability to secure locum coverage, the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre will experience service disruptions from November 29, 2021, to January 16, 2022 (six weeks), until anesthetist services can resume.
Recruitment efforts are ongoing, however, General Practice Anesthetists are extremely difficult to secure Alberta Health Services (AHS) says.
Logan Clow is the Senior Communications Advisor for AHS, North Zone
“There will be no scheduled elective surgeries or endoscopies during this time,” Clow told Lakeland Connect. “Services such as obstetrics and surgery may experience service disruptions.”
Service disruptions will drastically affect those who are waiting for procedures.
“To ensure the safety of all patients, there will be no operating room capability in Cold Lake during this time, Clow said. “We are working to ensure all patients have the support they need. This includes working with surrounding sites.”
Clow says patient safety is of utmost importance to AHS and they apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
“We are doing all we can to ensure our patients receive the care they need, when they need it, and would like to thank them for their support and understanding during this time,” Clow said.
However, this will not be the only disruption to healthcare in the City of Cold Lake. The Cold Lake Emergency Department is also affected.
Due to physician vacancies and an inability to secure locum coverage, there may be some temporary service disruptions to the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Emergency Department in the upcoming weeks.
“We will update the community on any emergency department service disruptions. AHS will continue to work hard to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care,” Clow told Lakeland Connect. “During any emergency department service disruptions, the nursing staff will remain on-site in the Emergency Department providing triage and assessments and referrals for patients to alternate Emergency Departments in surrounding communities.”
Clow says if an emergency department service disruption should occur, EMS calls will be re-routed to surrounding communities to ensure local residents continue to have access to the emergency services they need.
Patients will be asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency during this time. Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7, for non-emergency health-related questions.
“We will continue to keep the community updated on any future, temporary hour adjustments to the local ED,” Clow said.