Sylvan Lake’s urgent care centre will be closed all day Thursday because of doctor shortages.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced on Monday afternoon that Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service was closed from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday and will not be open at all on Thursday. Normal operating hours are 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
“This temporary closure is necessary as the service cannot operate without a physician onsite,” said AHS. “Efforts to secure locum physician coverage on short notice to support the morning shift have been exhausted.”
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 also access medical care for urgent health concerns from facilities in nearby communities, including Innisfail, Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer.
The urgent care centre offers diagnosis and treatment of urgent but non-life-threatening conditions, such as minor cuts or burns, muscle and joint strains, bone fractures, and fever in young children.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Megan Hanson has often expressed her concern about the health-care facility closures and said last week she welcomes a new committee that has been formed locally to find more doctors. The Sylvan Lake Health Professional Attraction and Recruitment Committee held its first meetings in the last few weeks.
“They’ve got a good membership of community members on there. And they have decided to divide their time between recruitment and also the retention activities that can bolster what our professional health-care team looks like in Sylvan Lake,” said Hanson, who sits on the committee with Coun. Teresa Rilling.
The committee is not run by the town, but the municipality is offering administrative and other support.