NDP health critic David Shepherd says a temporary closure of the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre’s emergency department will put ‘even more pressure’ on the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (Photo contributed)

NDP health critic David Shepherd says a temporary closure of the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre’s emergency department will put ‘even more pressure’ on the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (Photo contributed)

Stettler Hospital and Care Centre emergency department closed Thursday

The emergency department at the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre is without an on-site physician Thursday, Alberta Health Services has announced.

As a result, the department has been closed since 8 a.m. Thursday and will remain closed until 8 a.m. Friday, at which time normal operations will resume.

“AHS is working to ensure local residents continue to have access to the care they need during this time,” AHS said in a statement Wednesday.

“Patients who may arrive at the ED during this closure will be seen by a Registered Nurse, who will provide first aid and call EMS as required to transport patients requiring physician care.”

The Stettler Hospital’s emergency department was also closed May 25 due to a lack of on-site physician coverage.

Other services at the site are not impacted. On-call physician coverage is available to support currently admitted inpatients and long-term care residents if needed, said AHS.

Patients are asked to call 911 if they have a medical emergency instead of presenting to the emergency department. During this time, EMS will transport patients requiring emergency care to nearby facilities, including Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre or the Drumheller Health Centre depending on their condition.

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

“AHS is grateful for the support of staff and physicians who have helped minimize this temporary disruption as much as possible,” said AHS.

“Additionally, AHS appreciates the support surrounding healthcare centres and would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this time.”

READ MORE: Temporary surgery diversion persists at Red Deer hospital

Alberta NDP health critic David Shepherd took to Twitter Thursday to comment on the closure.

“This will put even more pressure on the Red Deer Regional Hospital when their capacity is already strained,” Shepherd said.

Temporary surgery diversion at the Red Deer hospital began a little over five weeks ago. As of Monday morning, a total of 103 general surgery cases have been diverted to other hospitals. But the Red Deer hospital continues to support emergency cases that cannot be transferred, as well as patients with scheduled procedures.

During the diversion, 180 general surgery cases, both urgent and scheduled, have been completed at the Red Deer hospital.



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter