Three emergency rooms at Interior Health hospitals temporarily closed

Emergency rooms in Ashcroft, Clearwater and Elkford closed when patients asked to travel to Kamloops, Merritt and Fernie for help.

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Two emergency room departments at Interior Health hospitals were closed over the weekend, one in full and in part. This comes two weeks after the health authority temporarily closed the Elkford emergency department, which remains closed.

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In a prepared statement, Interior Health reported Saturday that “unforeseen limited staff availability” had forced the closure of the emergency department at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater.

The emergency room was closed Saturday at noon and is scheduled to reopen Sunday at 8 p.m.

Instead, residents were asked to call 911 or travel to the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops (an hour and a half drive south).

The announcement came on the same day that Interior Health temporarily closed the emergency department at Ashcroft Hospital and Community Health Care Center for a few hours over the weekend.

Interior Health has not disclosed the reason for this closure, but asked people in need of emergency assistance to call 911 or travel to the Royal Inland Hospital (an hour’s drive east) or Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt (a hour drive south). .

Elkford’s emergency department has been closed due to staffing issues and people in need of emergency help must travel to the Sparwood Health Center at Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie (a 45-minute drive south).

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