Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service has had to shorten its hours frequently in the last few months because of doctor shortages. (Black Press file photo)

Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care service closed Saturday morning

Alberta Health Services has announced the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service will not be open Saturday morning.

In a new release, AHS stated the service would close from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. because of an unexpected gap in physician coverage due to an illness.

The service will reopen at 3 p.m. and run until 10 p.m. Regular hours of operation will resume Sunday.

“This temporary closure is necessary as the service cannot operate without a physician onsite. Options to secure short-notice locum coverage to support the morning shift have been exhausted,” said AHS.

“Patients arriving at the Sylvan Lake Community Health Centre to receive care at the Advanced Ambulatory Care Service during the temporary closure will be redirected to other available care options as appropriate to their needs.

“These options include returning when the service resumes, booking an appointment with a family doctor, or calling Health Link at 811 for medical information and advice.”

Patients can access medical care for urgent health concerns from facilities in nearby communities, including Innisfail, Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer.

The Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service offers diagnosis and treatment of urgent but non-life-threatening conditions.

These include sudden illness or injury that could be cared for in a doctor’s office but require immediate attention. Examples of urgent needs include minor cuts or burns, muscle and joint strains, bone fractures, and fever in young children.

The service is not for life-threatening emergencies such as heart attack, signs/symptoms of stroke, head trauma, seizures, etc.

Patients requiring emergency medical care should call 911, said AHS.

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