Sunday , 16 January 2022

AHS says there will be no physician coverage in Cold Lake ED for varying periods

Due to the inability to secure physician coverage, Alberta Health Services (AHS) says the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Emergency Department (ED) will be temporarily without on-site physician coverage the following dates and times:

  • 11:00 p.m. Friday, January 14 to 7:00 a.m. Saturday, January 15
  • 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday, January 16
  • 3:00 p.m. Monday, January 17 to 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 18

This is a temporary measure and AHS says it is working hard to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time.

Nursing staff will remain on-site in the ED providing triage and assessments, and referrals for patients to alternate EDs in surrounding communities as needed.

Patients are asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency. EMS will be re-routed to surrounding healthcare centres to ensure local residents continue to have access to the emergency services they need.

Residents are reminded to call Health Link at 811, which is available 24/7 for non-emergency health-related questions.

“We are thankful for the support of surrounding healthcare centres and medical staff and would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this time,” AHS stated.

Staffing shortages have led to the closure of many emergency departments across rural Alberta.

“Jason Kenney has abandoned rural communities to fend for themselves during this highly transmissible fifth wave of the pandemic,” said NDP Critic for Health David Shepherd. “We are seeing closure after closure of emergency services in rural areas, on top of increasingly long wait times for an overstretched ambulance system, leaving Albertans to travel farther and farther for critical medical care. The Premier stood in front of Albertans yesterday and offered zero plan, support, or acknowledgement of what these communities are grappling with.”

Disruption in service was also seen in McLennan as The Sacred Heart Community Health Centre emergency department had no on-site physician for 24 hours on Wednesday this week. The Consort and McLennan closures come after similar shutdowns in Fairview, Swan River, Cold Lake, and Wabasca.

“Rural communities continue to pay the price for the UCP’s war on healthcare professionals and the UCP’s botched handling of the pandemic,” said Shepherd. “I’m extremely concerned that we will see more Alberta communities left without local access to emergency care as the pressure on our hospitals increases in the coming days and weeks. “The UCP must release the AHS two-week forecast for hospitals and ICU’s immediately. The UCP’s response to every wave of this pandemic has been to act last and act least.”

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.